Knowledge Base

What's the difference between a protective order and a restraining order?

Category: Police Department
Protective Order (PO)    Restraining Order (RO) 
 Issued by a judge in a criminal case after an arrest    Issued by a Family Court judge (civil court)
 A condition of the offender's release    Victim files an Application for Relief from Abuse form
 Offender, not the victim, is responsible for upholding the order    Ex parte (after hearing one side) order is immediately issued by a judge
 Offender, not the victim, is responsible for upholding the order    Victim must ensure that the offender is served with a notice of hearing at least 24 hours prior to the hearing date
 There is no cost to the victim    No court fees, but there is a Judicial Marshal fee to serve the judge's order and notice of hearing
 The order lasts as long as the court case, and the judge may modify or terminate it at any time without the victim's knowledge    The ex parte order lasts until the day of the hearing, which is within 14 days of the date of issuance and after service of the notice. At the hearing the judge can extend the order for six months with another possible six month extension. The order cannot expire without the victim's knowledge.
 Police are notified the day the order is issued    Police usually have a copy within 48 hours of issuance
 POs usually do not include custody orders    ROs may include orders for temporary custody and visitation

Updated 7/14/2015 3:02 PM
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