There is no cost associated with filing or serving a Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Restraining Order
FAPA restraining orders expire one year from the date they were issued.
Who May Apply
- Former Spouses
- Adults related by blood, marriage, or adoption
- Persons cohabiting, or who have cohabited with each other
- Persons who have been in a sexually intimate relationship with each other within two years immediately preceding the filing of restraining order
- Unmarried parents of a child
Must Have Been
- A victim of abuse within the past 180 days, AND
- Be in imminent danger of further abuse
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing, or attempting to cause, bodily injury
- Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury
- Causing another to engage in involuntary sexual relations by force or threat of force
Application Process (At the Courthouse)
- Fill out a restraining order petition (application) and the restraining order itself
- Meet with a judge who will read the petition and decide whether the Petitioner (applicant) qualifies for a restraining order. The judge may ask additional questions.
- The judge will initial each section of the restraining order that applies to the respondent (perpetrator of abuse) and sign the order. The judge may also determine that the Petitioner does not qualify for a restraining order
If the judge does sign/approve the restraining order, the courtroom clerk will hand the restraining order back to the Petitioner and direct them where to take the documents.
There will be three copies: the original will be filed; a copy will go the sheriff for service; and the Petitioner will be given a copy
The Order Will
- Provide for custody and parenting time for any joint children
- Prohibit the Respondent from contacting the Petitioner in person, electronically, by telephone and third parties. The Petitioner has some say in what contact should be allowed.
- Prohibit the Respondent from entering the Petitioner's residence, place of work, school, the children's school, and other specific addresses/locations
- Place restrictions on the Respondent's ability to possess firearms and require the respondent to turn over firearms to the police
Service of Restraining Order
- The sheriff will serve the restraining order free of charge
- The order does not take effect until the Respondent is served
Once the Order is Served
The Respondent has 30 days to request a hearing to contest the restraining order.
If no hearing is requested in 30 days, the restraining order will be stay in effect for one year
- A hearing on custody or parenting time provisions of a restraining order is not subject to the 30 day limit and may be requested at any time.
If the Respondent requests a hearing and children are involved, the court must schedule a hearing within five days.
If there are no children involved, then the court must schedule a hearing within 21 days
- Provide a copy of the restraining order to the child's school or daycare
- Call the police immediately if the Respondent violates the restraining order by contacting you or showing up where they are not supposed to be
Petitioners Should Not
Violate the terms of the restraining order themselves. Petitioners are no subject to arrest if they violate the terms of the restraining order but if the respondent contests the restraining order, the Petitioner will have to explain to the court why he/she violated the restraining order. Violations of a restraining order by a Petitioner impact their credibility in court.
Request a hearing on the restraining order within 30 days of being served with the order. If he/she does not request a hearing within 30 days of being served, the order will remain in effect for one year.
Before requesting a hearing a Respondent should consult with an attorney. Contested restraining order hearings can effect a Respondent's ability to possess a firearm.
Respondents Should Not
Violate the terms of the restrainin order.
If a restraining order says you are to have no contact with the opposing party by telephone, do not answer your phone if the Petitioner calls you; don not open your door if he/she fhows up at your house. Contact under these circumstances is still a violation of the restraining order. Even if the Petitioner initiates contact with the Respondent, Respondent can be charged with violating the restraining order. The fact that the Petitioner initiated the contact is not a defense to a contempt charge.
Renewal of Restraining Order
Petitioners may request that their restraining orders be renewed for a year. The request for renewal must be made before the original Order expires.