There are two types of restraining orders: domestic abuse and harassment. Restraining orders are orders from the court and are also called injunctions, that prevent a person from taking certain actions. These orders go further than simply preventing someone from engaging in abuse or harassment. They also often prohibit all contact with the person asking the court for the order, including through telephone, email, etc., as well as indirect contact through other people. A restraining order can also prohibited a person from being present in the same place as another person. Modifications allowing for limited contact are possible, particularly for parties with children, but the clear goal is to end the threatening behavior and protect the person requesting for the order.
The court typically reviews these requests in two steps. First, the petition is reviewed and an injunction can be granted on a temporary basis, without a hearing. Second, a full hearing on the issue before a judge will then take place within two weeks. At that hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the injunction petition, for a period up to four years.
Domestic abuse and harassment injunctions are unfortunately extremely common. Particularly in Dane County, restraining order hearings are held several times weekly, and their hearing calendar is almost always full of new cases. I estimate that more than 90% of parties involved in these cases do not have lawyers. Most of the time, the parties have incredible difficulty presenting their case according to court rules. Partly, this is because the definition of domestic abuse and harassment is far more limited than most people think. Often, the judge finds it very hard to understand what happened and make a decision.
Abuse and harassment are extremely serious matters. They must receive the care and attention they deserve. We have represented many clients in both harassment and domestic abuse matters in Dane, Columbia, and Sauk counties. To schedule your Free consultation, go to KH-LAW.net.