The Court does not require you to be represented by counsel when filling out or filing an application for a Restraining Order. Victims’ advocates are available at the courthouse to offer emotional support, assist in filling out related forms and can accompany the applicant to the Restraining Order hearing.
Many people who apply for a Restraining Order work with an attorney who is familiar with the Restraining Order Application and hearing process. An experienced attorney can ensure that you are aware of your options, whether a Restraining Order can be filed against a certain individual and what conditions can be imposed on the person from whom you are seeking protection.
It is helpful to consult with counsel to ensure that your Restraining Order Application is thorough and correct and that you are prepared for your hearing. Attorneys familiar with the Restraining Order process, common practices in a particular courthouse and the judges before whom you will appear can help you every step of the way.
At your Restraining Order hearing, the judge will consider testimony from witnesses and all relevant documentary evidence. The judge will also hear arguments from both your attorney and the respondent’s attorney about whether a Restraining Order should be granted, and if so, what conditions should be put in place to protect you. Hearings can be short and straightforward or lengthy and complicated.
An attorney can make sure you preserve, gather and present all information that supports your application for a Restraining Order. It is important to talk to your attorney about any past instances of harassment, threatening or abuse and to work with your attorney to identify and gather any information that corroborates this conduct. Your attorney can help you preserve and obtain relevant documents such as:
- Text messages
- Phone messages
- Social media posts
- Hospital records
- Video recordings
If there are witnesses who can provide relevant information about why a Restraining Order is necessary, your attorney can help ensure that they come to Court to testify on your behalf. If you are concerned an important witness may not show up to your hearing, your attorney can coordinate with a marshal and issue a subpoena, which is a Court Order requiring the witness to appear at your hearing and bring certain documents with him or her.
Work with an experienced attorney who can make sure you understand the best steps to take to protect yourself. Discuss your history with the individual from whom you are seeking protection, your concerns and what you think needs to be done to ensure your safety and guarantee you have peace of mind.
The partners at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC collaborate with our clients and with each other to ensure the best results based on your individual needs. With over 50 years of combined experience, attorneys Audrey Felsen and Bruce Koffsky are dedicated to safeguarding your rights and advocating for you. If you have any questions about filing an application for a Restraining Order or the Restraining Order process, contact our office at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC at 203-327-1500.