When a spouse or family member becomes abusive or violent, those who are victims can file for an “order of protection,” or as they are more commonly known, a restraining order. While these documents can grant safety to those who desperately need it, their terms don’t always remain ideal for your family situation and may become overbearing as time goes by. However, orders are not permanent and you can modify them or even have them dismissed in certain cases. Here’s how:
Let Time Expire
Most restraining orders are temporary. When someone is granted a temporary order of protection, the absolute longest it may last is 30 days after the order is served (except in extremely rare circumstances when a judge orders it to be longer). Once this deadline is reached, the individual seeking protection must reapply for a new order. If you have been served one of these orders and feel as though it is overly restrictive of your freedoms, the easiest thing to do is simply let the expiration date pass. If the seeking individual applies for a new order, you will be allowed to plead your case.
File a Motion
All restraining orders (even temporary ones) can be dissolved or modified by filing a motion with the court. Dissolving an order is to have it be eliminated entirely, whereas modifying it leaves it in effect, but with modified terms. While most modification motions result in relaxed terms (which can even return privileges such as visitation or custody that may have been lost), it is possible that a modification motion could backfire and result in even more restrictive terms. You should speak with a Reno family law attorney before filing either of these motions. Experienced counsel can tell you which option is best-suited for your case and then help you file a motion and plead your case.
File an Appeal
To appeal a restraining order is to contest it, which you can typically do as soon as you have been served notice of the order against you. If you feel as though the order was filed against you undeservedly, you may attempt to appeal it. This requires you to present substantial evidence in support of your claim, so you should retain an attorney for assistance with this process.
Why Lift an Order?
Restraining orders can have serious negative ramifications on family law issues. Not only do they reflect poorly on your character, but they can be added to your criminal record in some circumstances. This reflects extremely poorly on your character, which can have a strong negative impact on your case when you seek child custody or visitation time. In some cases, spouses have been known to use a temporary order to their advantage, filing for one just before a critical child custody hearing in an attempt to sabotage the other’s case. For this reason, you should always review any restraining order you are served with an attorney, who can then help you fight it and maintain your rights and privileges throughout your divorce.
At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., we are an award-winning team of Reno family lawyers dedicated to helping you seek the best possible resolution to your case. Since 1998, we have proudly stood by the side of those facing the often-intimidating prospect of a family law matter, and we’ve fought to protect their rights and privileges. With more than 100 years of combined experience and a team approach that places your goals at the center of our strategy, you can trust that your case will be handled with the utmost professionalism, compassion, and dedication from start to finish.