What You Can Do If You Are Served With A Restraining Order

What You Can Do If You Are Served With A Restraining Order

When someone has been the victim of harassment, inappropriate behaviour, or violence, they can apply to the police or to a court for a restraining order. Restraining orders are matters that criminal lawyers have to deal with. both in representing the person applying for them, and for clients who are subject to one, and who may wish to appeal against it.

The basics of a restraining order are that they can help prevent someone from committing unacceptable or even criminal acts against another individual, by putting in place limits with respect to what they are allowed to do.

There are three forms of restraining order which exist, and these can be applied depending on the nature of the unwanted or inappropriate behaviour which is taking place. The three types are a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO), a Violence Restraining Order (VRO), and a Misconduct Restraining Order (MRO).

For behaviours that do not involve acts of violence or threats of violence, an MRO will be the most appropriate option. The kinds of behaviour they are designed to stop are harassment or carrying out acts of physical damage to someone’s property or belongings.

Where the behaviour is more serious and where physical harm has occurred or there is a threat of it happening, then a VRO is used. Obviously, an actual assault would be a reason to ask for a VRO, with others being intimidation, kidnapping, endangerment caused by damaging property, and threatening behaviour, including a threat of violence.

An FVRO, as the name suggests is used when an ex-partner or spouse, a current partner or spouse, or another family member such as a parent or a sibling carries out behaviour which relates to violence. These behaviours include threats of violence, actual violence, coercion, or control to the extent that it causes someone to be fearful.

Obviously, there are two sides to every restraining order, and one of them is the person who has been served by one. Regardless of the specific circumstances, someone who is subject to a restraining order does have the right to ask that the court either amends the conditions of the restraining order or that it cancels the restraining order completely.

For either of these to occur an application must be lodged with the court and given the complexities involved it is strongly advised that you use the services of a criminal lawyer so that the application meets all the requirements. Once received the court will set a date for a hearing, not to decide your appeal, but to actually decide whether you will even be allowed to appeal.

To proceed there is an extremely narrow set of circumstances that must exist, and the different order types have different criteria. For interim orders, that constitute an FVRO or a VRO, you must be able to show the court that either consideration of your application is a matter of urgency, or that the order which is currently in place is causing you unnecessary and serious hardship.

When a restraining order is final, in words not interim, the conditions that must apply for your application to be considered are different. The first is that there has been a substantial and significant change in circumstances, that did not exist when the original restraining order was made final.

The second is that the person that the restraining order is in place to protect, has communicated with you and encouraged you to breach the order by calling to arrange meet-ups, for example.