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Domestic Violence Restraining Order Requests FAQs

What is a “Domestic Violence Restraining Order”?

It is a court order that can help protect people who have been abused by someone they’ve had an intimate relationship with, are closely related to, or have lived with as more than just roommates.

How Can a Restraining Order Help Me?

A judge can order the restrained person to:

  • Not contact you, your children or relatives, or people you live with;
  • Stay away from you, your children or relatives, or people you live with, your home, your job, etc.;
  • Not have any firearms (guns, including “ghost guns”), firearm parts, or ammunition;
  • Move out of a home that you live in;
  • Obey child custody and visitation orders;
  • Pay child support;
  • Pay spousal support;
  • Pay debt for property; and
  • Give you control of property (examples: cell phone, car, home).

Can a Restraining Order Protect My Children?

Yes, you can ask the judge to protect your children. If you are asking for a restraining order against someone you have children with, you can also ask the judge to make child custody and visitation orders. And if you think that the other parent might abduct (kidnap) your children, you can ask for orders to prevent kidnapping.

How Long Can a Restraining Order Last?

If the judge makes a temporary order, it will last until your hearing date (court date). Your hearing is usually three weeks after you turn in your court papers. At your hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant you a long-term restraining order that can last up to five years.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you must have a (1) required relationship and (2) show that the person you want a restraining order against has been abusive.

Required Relationship

  • Your spouse, ex-spouse, registered domestic partner, or ex-registered domestic partner
  • Someone you have a child with; Your parent, child, sibling, or grandparent (includes in-laws and step relationships)
  • Someone you live with or used to live with (more than just roommates)


Abuse can be spoken, written, or physical. It can be physical, sexual, or emotional. It includes threats to harm you or your family, stalking, harassment, destroying personal property, repeated contact, and disturbing the peace.

What does disturbing the peace mean?

It means to destroy someone’s mental or emotional calm. Disturbing the peace includes coercive controlCoercive control means a number of acts that unreasonably limit the free will and individual rights of any personExamples include:

  • Isolating someone from their friends, relatives, or other support
  • Keeping them from food or basic needs
  • Controlling or keeping track of them, including their movements, contacts, actions, money, or access to services
  • Threats to immigration status
  • Making them do something that they don’t want to do
  • Controlling or interfering with someone’s contraception (birth control, condoms); pregnancy or ability to become a parent; or access to health information.

How Do I ask For a Domestic Violence Restraining Order? 

You will need to complete at least four forms to ask for a domestic violence restraining order:

  • Form DV-100;
  • Form DV-109;
  • Form DV-110; and
  • CLETS-001

If you have a child or children with the other side, you can ask for additional protection, like child custody orders. To make these requests, you must complete two more forms:

  • Form DV-105; and
  • Form DV-140. 

If you want to ask for child support or spousal support, you make the request on Form DV-100 and complete Form FL-150. 

My Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order Was Granted, Now What? 

Once your Temporary Restraining Order has been granted, you must timely serve the other side. You can ask the Sheriff in the county where the restrained person lives and works to serve the papers for you, at no cost. You also may have a person over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action serve a copy of the paperwork. The person must complete the Proof of Service form (DV-200) and it must be filed with the court.

What Happens at The Court Hearing For My Domestic Violence Restraining Order Request?

At your court hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant you a long-term restraining order that can last up to five years. It is important to bring any evidence or witnesses that you may have. If you are representing yourself, it may help to plan out and make notes about what you want to say to the judge. If needed, you can use your notes for your court hearing. Read over the court papers in your case and write out anything else you want the judge to know. Focus on the facts and details that support your side of the story. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will prepare for the hearing with you.