After you provide the information to complete the necessary paperwork, court staff will check to see if the defendant is wanted by the police, if there are or have been other restraining orders against the defendant, and whether the defendant has any criminal record. In some courts, court staff may also check your record. Once this is done, you’ll be connected with a judge by phone or video.
If you have asked for an order without the defendant knowing, the judge will look over your papers and ask you some questions. The judge will decide whether or not to give you the order after speaking with you and will coordinate with the clerk to provide a copy of the order to you and the appropriate police department.
The police will attempt to serve the defendant with a copy of the order to give the defendant notice of the terms of the order and of the date and time of the hearing for an opportunity to be heard on whether the relief granted should continue. Your local police department receives a copy of the order. You should also keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
The date and time for the next court hearing will be listed on the order. The name and location of the court that issued the order is at the top of the order. During that hearing, the judge will listen to the evidence and decide if the order should continue to remain in effect, be amended in some way(s), or be ended. Both the plaintiff and the defendant have a right to be heard at the hearing and to present evidence that the judge finds relevant. If you don’t contact the court at the date and time of the next scheduled court hearing, the order will expire at the end of that court day.
If the judge grants the order, the order will say how long it will last, and will tell you when you need to go back to court if you want to renew it.
If you want to renew the order, you’ll need to go back to court on the return/expiration date on the order, and ask for the order to be renewed or the order will expire.