A restraining order is a type of court order which requires a person to either do, or not do specific acts. Restraining orders are often issued in cases involving domestic violence, harassment, stalking, and sexual assault. Different types of protective orders can be issued based on the specific circumstances of an individual’s situation.
The main types of restraining orders are the following:
- Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) – This is an emergency order issued by law enforcement when an individual cannot petition a court right away, either because the court is not in session or the harm is imminent. EPOs go into effect immediately, typically expiring in less than a week.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) – TROs are often granted when someone is threatened with immediate physical harm. This type of order is issued before the parties have had the opportunity for a formal hearing on the facts of the case. A TRO will stay in effect only until a hearing has been held and a judge has made a ruling.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) – This type of order is issued in response to violence between spouses, relatives, or persons in a romantic relationship. A DVRO remains in effect for a longer period of time compared to either an EPO or TRO, often several years, and can be renewed.