Restraining orders! Can you win, or will you lose?
Temporary Restraining Orders
To get that very first TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO), the lowest burden of proof, REASONABLE PROOF, is required. This means that only your say so may be all that is required to obtain a TRO. A written declaration under penalty of perjury must show the court specific circumstances which places you in danger.
Then comes the hearing for the permanent restraining order. The burden of proof gets harder because it is a permanent restraining order up to five years. In a domestic violence proceeding, the burden of proof is by a mere PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE, that is, whose story is simply more likely to be true. That’s it. This is a fairly low burden of proof since domestic violence is regretfully way too common and frequent in our society. Many times, it turns deadly for the abused.
Other Permanent Restraining Orders
The toughest burden of proof for restraining orders is CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. Independent witnesses, documents, and other types of convincing evidence must make it very clear to the court that the permanent restraining order should be granted. This toughest burden is required for non-domestic violence cases, such as neighbor disputes, family squabbles, landlord tenant disputes, and the like.
So before you run off to court for a TRO, remember that if you don’t have sufficient evidence to meet your particular burden of proof, don’t waste your time or money. But if you have legitimate concerns for your safety or well-being, you may want to at least consult with an attorney about your case.
for a free (yes, free) consultation and we will provide a good-faith estimate of your legal needs.