A Harassment Restraining Order is an order issued by the court in order to keep the offender, or any person acting on his behalf, from contacting the victim in any way. The restraining order also keeps the offender from making physical contact with the victim. The offender is technically prohibited to go near the victim or remain at a prescribed distance away from the victim.
Who may apply for the issuance of a Restraining Order?
Any person who is a victim of harassment may seek for the issuance of a restraining order from the Court. In case of a minor victim, the parent or guardian of the minor may request for the issuance of the same. Once the restraining order is issued, it may prohibit any form of harassment from happening. A Harassment Restraining Order is issued against any individual or group of individual or even against organizations which promoted or sponsored any form of harassment.
How to apply for the issuance of a Harassment Restraining Order?
The petitioner may fill out the Petitioner's Affidavit and Petition for Restraining Order. The affidavit must be complete and specific and must include the date, time, places, actions and conversations that lead the petitioner to feel harassed. Said facts must be included in a narrative or affidavit stating the ultimate facts of the case.
The Petitioner's Affidavit and Petition for Restraining Order must be filed before the court administrator in the county where either party resides or in the county where the act of harassment occurred. Filing fees will be charged therefor. If the petitioner is an indigent, he may file an "IFP form" which shall entitle him to waive the filing fee.
Once the filing fee is paid, the court administrator will forward the petition to the judge for review. If the judge found that there is a necessity for the issuance of the restraining order, he shall issue it forthwith. Otherwise, the judge will order the dismissal of the case. The judge may also schedule a hearing, with or without the issuance of a restraining order.
If the facts that are required for the issuance of a restraining order are fully established, the judge may issue the same for a period of two years or less. Said order will remain to be effective unless the petitioner or the respondent requests for a hearing for the purpose of opposing said order.The judge may also schedule a hearing on the facts in order to find out if there is great possibility that the harassment is likely to happen.