After the Court receives the petition, it will issue a temporary restraining order if the alleged conduct of the person whom a restraining order is being sought (respondent) meets the statutory definition of harassment. A temporary restraining order requires respondent to stop harassing the petitioner, avoid the petitioner and any place occupied by the petitioner and to not contact the petitioner. Regardless of whether a temporary restraining order is granted, the Court will schedule an injunction hearing to determine whether a harassment injunction is appropriate. An injunction is the same as the temporary restraining order except that it can be in place for up to four years, whereas a temporary restraining order is in place only until the date of the injunction hearing.
At the injunction hearing, the petitioner is required to provide testimony and evidence as to why a harassment injunction is appropriate. The respondent may also provide testimony and evidence if he or she wishes to contest the motion for injunction. Based on the testimony and evidence, the Court will decide whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that the respondent engaged in harassment with intent to harass or intimidate the petitioner. If such grounds exist, the Court will grant the injunction. The determination of whether an injunction will be granted is very often fact specific. If you have questions regarding a harassment restraining order, please contact the attorneys at Anderson O’Brien, Bertz, Skrenes and Golla, LLP.