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How to Get a Restraining Order

Protect yourself from the threat of injury or physical harm by filing a restraining order.


  • Step 1: Complete paperwork Complete the necessary paperwork. Forms are typically available at your local courthouse, through domestic violence programs, or from court web sites.
  • TIP: Forms must be signed in front of a court clerk or a notary public.
  • Step 2: Submit completed forms Return completed forms to the court clerk. A judge may issue an ex parte, meaning emergency, restraining order and then schedule a hearing within 14 days to follow up on the order.
  • TIP: Keep a certified copy of the restraining order with you at all times to show to the police if you need help.
  • Step 3: Serve papers Have law officers notify the defendant of the ex parte order, if there is one, and of the upcoming hearing.
  • Step 4: Attend hearing Attend the scheduled hearing and present your case. The judge will listen to both you and the defendant and decide whether to grant or extend the restraining order.
  • FACT: Did you know? In 1962 city officials in Albany, Georgia, sought and received a restraining order against Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow protestors

You Will Need

  • Restraining order forms
  • A court clerk
  • A notary public

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