There are situations where you may require protection under the law, but the facts don’t rise to the level of a protective order. When a situation like this occurs in your case, your problems may be solved with a temporary restraining order (TRO). This week we will discuss what exactly a TRO is and how it can impact your case.
A temporary restraining order is a court order designed to prevent one party from taking certain actions that could cause harm to another party or their property. It differs from a protective order in that a protective order requires the court to make a finding of family violence while a TRO does not. This is because TRO’s can be granted to prevent a party from doing numerous things, not just enacting violence. In family law cases, TROs typically arise in situations involving domestic violence, harassment, infringement of rights, trespassing, etc. Because these orders are temporary they usually only last until a full hearing can be held to determine whether a more permanent restraining order is warranted.
One of the primary purposes of a TRO is to maintain the status quo and prevent further harm or disruption while the legal process unfolds. For example, if there are allegations of domestic violence within a family, a TRO may prohibit the alleged abuser from contacting or coming near the victim and any children involved. Another example could be if a third party is assaulting a child in a case. A TRO can prevent the third party from coming near the child or having any contact with them.
Obtaining a TRO involves filing a petition with the court outlining the specific reasons why the order is necessary. In emergency situations, which are cases involving imminent danger or threat of danger, a judge may grant a TRO ex parte, which means that it is without a formal hearing with the opposing party. However, ex parte TROs are subject to review at a later hearing where both parties have the opportunity to present their arguments.
TRO’s have a limit of two weeks without being extended. At the end of the two weeks a hearing will be had before the court. After hearing testimony from both sides and reviewing evidence, the judge will the decide whether the temporary restraining order will be granted and turned into a temporary injunction. If turned into a temporary injunction the order will be in place until further order of the Court, which usually occurs at final trial. When the judge makes their ruling at final trial, the orders will either be dissolved or turned into permanent injunctions.
It is very important to note that false accusations or misuse of TROs can have significant repercussions in your case. Because of this, it is crucial to have appropriate evidence to substantiate your request for a TRO. More often than not, your word will not be enough. You need to have evidence to support your claim.