if a temporary restraining order is being filed do I need an attorney to fight it and/or appear at the hearing? does it go on my record?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Restraining orders are civil, not criminal. (Violating a restraining order, however, can be a crime.) You may want to re-post your question under general civil litigation. But yes, it will absolutely go on your record.
You are not required to hire a lawyer in order to oppose the petition. You're allowed to handle it yourself. But you should get a lawyer if at all possible. Even if you don't deserve the restraining order, you will need to present your case properly in court. If you don't know how to rebut the accuser, present your own evidence, argue the applicable law, etc., you may lose just because you didn't know what you were doing.
A restraining order is a serious thing. It will show up in background checks. It will limit your rights in ways that may seriously impact your life. (For example, if you're ordered to stay 100 yards away from the petitioner but you and he currently work in the same building, you may have to quit.) It will prevent you from owning or possessing guns. It may make getting a job, an apartment, or even a boyfriend or girlfriend, much harder. And if you ever violate the order -- or if it ever seems like you did -- you could end up behind bars.
With that much at stake, you should get a lawyer asap.
Unless you want the court to issue a protective order against you that will be entered into a law enforcement database....
Unless you want the person who is seeking the restraining order to have control over you and giving them the power to make an allegation you violated the order, landing you in jail...
Unless you know there are solid grounds and a judge is going to issue it anyway...
Yes, you need to fight it. They're near impossible to remove once granted.
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