If someone files for a restraining order against you, consider fighting it. Even though it may not appear on a typical background check since it’s not a criminal offense, it’s a civil order that can be found in publicly searchable court records and police databases.
Below are three tips for fighting it:
1. Gather evidence
One can apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO) if they are a victim of domestic violence or when seeking child custody from an alleged abuser. Therefore, you need to gather evidence relevant to your case to prove your innocence and, in turn, fight the restraining order.
You can gather emails, text messages, phone records and CCTV footage, among others. Phone records can show you didn’t call the other party during a particular period if they claim you harassed them by phone. CCTV footage can prove you were not at the location in question/didn’t act as reported, and so on.
2. Be present in court
The other party will appear in court to get a TRO in your absence. But when they return to court for a hearing, you have the right to be present to tell the judge your side of the story.
This hearing determines if you should receive a final restraining order (FRO). That’s why it’s vital to appear in court.
3. Respect the TRO
The police or sheriff’s office will serve you with a copy of the TRO after it’s issued to the other party. It will be in effect until the FRO hearing. Ensure you respect it; don’t contact the other party. Violating a TRO may disadvantage you when fighting it.
If someone files a restraining order against you, get adequate information to fight it to protect your rights.