What is the difference between a temporary restraining order and a protective order?
A temporary restraining order is ordered by a judge in family court, and it applies only to certain people, as explained below. A protective order is ordered by a judge in criminal court— usually after someone has been arrested.
If someone (in your family or not) has been arrested for hurting, threatening, or stalking you, the criminal court may give you a criminal protective order to keep that person away from you. But a protective order only lasts until the criminal case ends, and it may not protect other people in your family.
Whether you have a criminal protective order or not, you can ask a family court for a civil temporaryrestraining order. A temporary restraining order can last longer and it can also protect other family members.
This class is about civil temporary restraining orders. But there are other ways to protect yourself from domestic violence. To learn more about other things you can do, talk to a domestic violence agency or a lawyer.
Who can a temporary restraining order protect you from?
Your spouse, former spouse, or person with whom you have/had a civil union.
Your parent, child, or other relative.
Someone you live with or used to live with.
Someone you have a child with, even if you have never lived together or been married.
Someone you are dating or used to date.
A caretaker providing shelter in his/her home to a person 60+ years old.
If the person harming you is not a member of your family or household, you should contact the police.