In many movies and tv shows, a restraining order forces someone to move away as a punishment for their wrongdoing. But does that really work in real life? If someone is harassing you or stalking you, can you force them to move by getting a restraining order? Despite the restrictions, it places on another person’s actions and movements, a restraining order cannot force someone to move. It’s not even possible to do so unless they live with you or are renting from you at the time of the filing. This article explains what a restraining order is and whether or not it can make someone move.
Can A Restraining Order Force Someone To Move?
The answer to this question is yes, but not always. A restraining order is an order by the court that tells a person not to hurt another person or do anything else that could harm the other person. If you have been injured by someone because they did not follow the conditions of a restraining order, you may be able to sue them for damages.
What Is A Restraining Order?
A restraining order is also called an “order of protection” or “no contact order.” It’s a written order by a court that says one person must not contact another person. The order can also say one person must not go near or stay away from another person or their property. For example, a restraining order might say that one person cannot go near another person’s home or workplace. It might say they cannot have any communication with that person, like phone calls, emails, text messages, or letters. It could say they cannot send that person gifts. A restraining order can last for as little as two weeks or for several years. A person can get a restraining order if they feel threatened or harassed by another person.
Why Can’t A Restraining Order Force Someone To Move?
- The person who is being ordered to stay away from another person may not want to move away.
- If a restraining order tells the person they must stay away from another person, they may think that means they have to move far, far away. They might think that means they must move out of state or to another country.
- A restraining order might tell the person that he or she must stay away from a place where the other person works or lives, and the person could be afraid of losing his or her job if he or she moved and was fired.
- If a restraining order says the other person must not go near another property like their house, a pet’s house, an apartment building, a school, etc., the other person might be afraid of losing his or her home if he or she moves out of town and is later evicted because of this violation of an order of protection.
- The person who is being ordered to stay away from another person may think that they should be able to go near the other person as long as they stay away from them. If a restraining order says the person must stay away from the other person, then they may think that means the court has no power over them, so they are free to go near and contact the other person as much as they want.
- A restraining order just tells one person not to hurt or harass another person, but it doesn’t say anything about moving. If you have been harmed by someone violating a restraining order, you can still file a lawsuit for damages on top of getting a restraining order against the alleged violator.
- Sometimes people have different ideas about what constitutes physical harm or harassment of another individual. For example, some people may not be physically harmed when someone violates their restraining order, but may feel emotionally harmed by being harassed might hurt them or their property.
- The person who is being ordered to stay away from another person may think that even though they are not allowed to go near the other person, they will be able to find them and harm them without the restraining order.
- If a restraining order says a person must not go near someone’s home or workplace, it may make that person feel like they have no place to go if they need help or protection from someone else.
When Can A Restraining Order Require Someone To Move?
- The person who wants the restraining order must go to court and file a petition.
- The court will decide if there is enough evidence that the person asking for the restraining order has been harmed.
- The court will decide if the person who is being asked to move needs protection from another person or whether they are afraid of them.
- If the court decides that a restraining order should be issued, it will issue one, and can also issue a temporary restraining order or a permanent restraining order at the same time. A temporary restraining order lasts up to 14 days and has no fines or jail time attached to it. A permanent restraining order lasts for as long as the judge orders it, but cannot last more than five years without getting another hearing in front of a judge for renewal.
- After getting a permanent restraining order, you can challenge it by filing an appeal with the state’s Court of Appeals within 30 days after you getting it in writing from your by the other person.
- If the court decides there is enough evidence, it will issue a restraining order which requires the person to move.
- The restraining order can require the person to move to another state or country or even just to a different city within their home state.
- A restraining order can require someone to leave their home and stay somewhere else temporarily, like their parents’ house, until they go back to where they live now. For example, if a parent wants his/her child moved out of the house for safety reasons, he/she can ask for a restraining order that requires that child to stay at his/her parents’ house until this situation is resolved.
- A restraining order can also be permanent and last for as long as 10 years or longer if the judge thinks it is necessary for someone’s safety and peace of mind in this situation so long as there is no violence involved in this relationship (such as murder by the other person.
- The court will decide if they will give the order, or not.
- If the court gives the order, then it has to be served on the other person, who must then obey it.
- The person who has been given a restraining order may request that the court’s order be enforced by law enforcement officers or a private company called a “private process server” (like those that deliver mail). This is called “service of process” or “service of process and complaint.”
- If the court decides there is enough evidence, the judge will issue a restraining order.
- A person who wants a restraining order cannot violate it unless the court allows them to do so. For example, if someone violates a restraining order by telling someone they are not allowed to go near them, the person who asked for the restraining order can file a lawsuit to get damages for their injuries. They may also be able to get an injunction stopping this person from contacting them again and preventing that person from going near their home or workplace.
A restraining order can be a powerful tool against stalkers and people who harass or abuse you. But while it can stop a person from contacting or going near you, it can’t force them to move away from you. That’s why it’s important to know what you want to accomplish with a restraining order before you apply for one.