Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law

What does a restraining order do?

A restraining order can restrict your movements and activities. You may no longer be able to go where you want, and you may even have to find another place to live. If you have children, the state may prevent you from seeing them. Typically, the state no longer allows you to own a gun. If you are trying to obtain a visa or a green card, a restraining order may affect your immigration status. Penalties for violating a restraining order may involve paying a significant fine. The court may even send you to jail for a violation. 

A restraining order can include certain provisions that prevent you from doing specific things. At the very least, these provisions can represent a serious inconvenience. 

1. Residence exclusion

This is also called a move-out or kick-out order. It requires you to vacate your place of residence. You must leave and stay away at least until a court hearing takes place. You can only take personal belongings such as clothing with you when you go. 

2. Stay-away orders

These require you to keep a certain distance away from the person who took out the restraining order. The order will often provide a specific distance that you must maintain, such as 100 yards. A stay-away order applies not only to the individual but the places that he or she is likely to be, such as a workplace or a vehicle. 

3. Personal conduct orders

In addition to keeping a certain distance from an individual, a restraining order can require you to refrain from certain behaviors that this person may find threatening. These can include any sort of contact or communication with the individual, such as attempting to call him or her on the phone or sending messages through the mail or via electronic means, e.g., social media. 

Sometimes a restraining order includes other parties besides the individual who requested it. These may include members of the person’s family. If so, similar restrictions regarding contact and conduct will also apply to the other parties.