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5 Things to Know About Anti-Harassment and Restraining Orders 

You are being harassed due to a dispute or break up.  You do not want any contact with the other person for the time being or beyond.  There are different types of civil protection orders, and you need to determine which fits your situation.  What should you know about protection orders? 

1.    A civil protective order is a court order to stop harassing you 

A court order means that a judge signs a document commanding a person to stop harassing behavior aimed at you.  Seeking a civil order means you are not asking for the other person to be jailed or charged with a crime as long as the person does not violate the order.  A civil protection order commands the other person not to make contact with you, either in person, through the phone or internet, on social media, or by other means.  A protection order also can bar the other person from entering or coming near your home, school, and/or place of employment.  Violation of the order may result in arrest and charges. 

2.    If there is an emergency, call 911 immediately  
A civil anti-harassment or restraining order may be an appropriate measure if it is related to civil litigation or other disputes.  A protection order is issued by the court system, which is separate from law enforcement.  If you feel you are in immediate danger of assault or other crime, call 911 and decide later if seeking a protection order is the proper next step to take.

3.    There are different types of protection orders depending on your situation   

There are several different types of civil protection orders.  A restraining order stems from an ongoing family law case, such as a divorce or child custody dispute.  An anti-harassment order is for cases that do not involve a spouse or the parent of your child, such as an acquaintance or neighbor.  Other types of civil protection orders are available for victims of domestic violence and vulnerable adults.  An attorney can help you understand what type of protection order is appropriate for your circumstances. 

4.    A temporary protective order initially lasts 14 days

If you feel that a temporary protective order is needed before a permanent one is put in place, you can petition the court for a temporary order, which lasts 14 days.  After that a hearing will be held with the person you are seeking an order against so the court and hear from all the parties involved and determine if a permanent protective order should be put in place. 

5.    Restrictions on seeking a protection order   

There are no restrictions on seeking an order due to the other person being a family member, spouse, parent to your child, or member of the same sex.  Generally, any adult may seek a protection order.  Minors may require protection against a parent, family member, or dating partner.  The type of order sought affects whether the minor can seek an order directly or if an adult must do so on the minor’s behalf.  

Contact us today about permanent or temporary anti-harassment orders at (206) 259-1259 or email  

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