When we are placed in a life-threatening situation with certain people, we may need protection from them. This may lead us to ask the question: how much does a restraining order cost?
In the United States, the cost to get a restraining order will range from $100 to $400 depending on which state you live in. Initial consultations with lawyers may be priced at $25 to $50. There are situations, usually cases of stalking or domestic violence, wherein filing fees are actually waived. Lawyers usually charge $100 to $500 per hour for general services. Additional costs may also arise from stenography services during the hearing, usually, the court charges $5 to $10 per page.
A restraining order, also known as a protective order or order of protection, is an order from the court intended to protect an individual. Usually, this court order will prohibit an abuser from approaching or contacting the abused/harassed specified individual. If the conditions of this order will not be met, legal consequences are applicable and may be imposed.
If you are interested in answering the question “how much does a restraining order cost?”, then you should also be well informed of the possible reasons as to why restraining orders are best to be filed.
What is A Restraining Order For?
There are many reasons as to why restraining orders are imposed. It is important to point out that all of these reasons involve the issue of abuse or harassment. The more common reasons are the ones listed and discussed below.
- Domestic Violence – This type of violence involves violence or aggression in one’s own home. Typically, domestic violence refers to physical or verbal abuse against an intimate partner in marriage or cohabitation setting. In some cases, children may also be subjects to domestic violence. Moreover, in some U.S. states, violence against a roommate is also considered under domestic violence.
- Work Place Harassment – This involves physical harassment and/or emotional harassment experienced by workers in their own workplaces. Usually, subordinates are the ones who tend to experience this type of harassment. Managers are the usual, but not always, abusers in this situation. This harassment may involve those which are sexual in nature or those behavior which are threatening or belittling.
- Stalking – This involves unwanted and/or obsessive attention from a specific person or group of individuals. Stalking behaviors may relate to harassment and may involve constantly following the person or monitoring them. Stalkers may be past lovers, casual friends, workmates or even strangers. Famous people may be more prone to stalkers as they are often idolized. Today, stalking is not limited to real life situations; cyberstalking has also emerged together with the advancement of technology and the internet.
Who Can File A Restraining Order?
Any person who was a victim or is currently experiencing either physical or emotional violence/harassment may file a restraining order against the specific individual who is responsible for the violence/harassment. Whether you are a minor, an adult or an elderly, you may be able to file for a protective order. As for minors, however, parents and/or guardians should be present.
How to File for A Restraining Order
Now that we know the cost to get a restraining order, we should also look into how we can apply for an issuance of this protective order.
- First and foremost, you will need to file an initial petition. This will involve determining which court you will go to as well as securing all the forms necessary for the filing. Protection Order forms may vary from one state to another. Furthermore, in some states in the United States, there are court websites providing a printable version of the Protection Order form.
- After securing the forms, fill them up
- To finalize your forms, make sure you put your signature
- Afterwards, make a trip to the notary
- Do not forget to make copies of your work.
- Lastly, submit all the forms to the court clerk
How Long Will Restraining Orders Last?
When filing for a restraining order for the first time, the protective order filed is not permanent but rather temporary in nature. In your temporary restraining order documents, there will be an indicated date, usually 10 days later, as to when you should go back to court. During the 10 days, the police will provide the abuser a copy of his/her own so that he/she will know the date of the hearing. When both you and the abuser are brought to court and have explained your sides, the judge will determine the final order, for how long as well as the conditions. However, if the abuser does not appear in court, the temporary restraining order will continue to be effective until such time the abuser is brought to court.
- Secure evidences; may it be e-mails, text messages or letters. Look into your medical records if it helps.
- Talk to people who witnessed your situation and ask them if they are willing to serve as witnesses.
- Research about your abuser as there may be information that will serve helpful in your case.
So let us go back to the question, how much does a restraining order cost? Some people may find it unnecessary to spend $100 to $400 just to avoid certain individuals; perhaps, some may say that there other ways, free of charge, to not cross paths with potential perpetrators. But let us not forget that we are talking about our own lives at stake. It is, therefore, important to keep in mind that the cost to get a restraining order is much less than the benefit you will receive from it.