Restraining Orders

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A restraining order is a temporary Civil Court order that orders someone not to hurt you, to stay away from you, move out of the house, have no contact with you, or stop harassing you. An injunction is a final Civil Court order of protection that can be granted for up to 2 years for child abuse injunctions, and up to 4 years for domestic abuse, harassment, and individuals at risk injunctions. Restraining orders are different from bail or bond conditions, probation rules, or a 72-hour no contact condition of an arrest order.

Restraining Order forms and instructions can be obtained from the Clerk of Circuit Courts’ Office on the 8th floor of the Courthouse.

Civil Court and Juvenile Court hear requests for restraining orders. The court in which a restraining order is filed depends on whether the victim or person requesting (petitioner) is a minor or an adult and also whether the alleged abuser (respondent) is a minor or an adult. There are four types of Restraining Orders:

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is defined in the law as an intentional infliction of or threat to inflict physical pain, physical injury or illness; impairment of physical condition; or sexual contact or sexual intercourse without consent. There must be facts showing an imminent danger of physical harm before a temporary restraining order can be issued. There is no filing fee for this type of restraining order.

The abuse must have been committed by:

  • A spouse, former spouse, parent, child, or a person related by blood or adoption to you.
  • A person currently or formerly residing in a place of abode with you.
  • A person with whom you have a child in common.
  • A person who provides in home or community care for you.
  • A person with whom you have or had a dating relationship.


Harassment is defined in the law as striking, shoving, kicking or otherwise subjecting another person to physical contact; engaging in an act that would constitute child abuse under Sec. 48.02(1), sexual intercourse or sexual contact under Sec. 940.225 or stalking under Sec. 940.32; or attempts or threatens to do the same. Also, engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which harass or intimidate the person and which serve no legitimate purpose. There is a filing fee for filing this type of restraining order.

Individual At Risk (Vulnerable Adult)

Requested generally on behalf of “individuals at risk”, which includes any adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs and who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. People who may seek the temporary restraining order (TRO) include the adult at risk, social service workers, law enforcement personnel, parents, adult siblings, adult children, legal guardians of adults at risk, or county protective service agencies. There is a filing fee for these actions.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is defined as any of the following physical injury inflicted on a child by other than accidental means; sexual intercourse or sexual contact; Sexual exploitation of the child; permitting, allowing or encouraging the child to violate the prostitution laws; forcing the child to view sexual activity; exposing genitals or pubic area to the child; Causing the child to expose genitals or pubic area; manufacturing methamphetamine with a child physically present or in a child’s home or in a motor vehicle on the premises of a child’s home or under any other circumstances that the manufacture would be seen, smelled or be heard by a child; or, emotional damage to the child. There is no filing fee for this action.

A Restraining Order may be filed by:

  • the child victim or parent;
  • the stepparent of a child victim;
  • the legal guardian of a child victim; or,
  • any governmental or social action agency if the child is currently involved in a juvenile court CHIPS proceeding.