I have been served with a Temporary Restraining Order, now What?

In my years of practice, I have handled quite a few Harassment and Domestic Violence restraining order cases. They are emotionally charged and often involve significant consequences. They are not to be trifled with. If you receive a temporary restraining order there is no question that your first call needs to be to a lawyer. Here is a brief outline of points to remember.

1. Keep a cool head:Conflict causes emotions to run high. When we act on these emotions, we often get ourselves in trouble. Sometimes in worse trouble than we were in in the first place. A good lawyer will analyze your situation and counsel you avoid precipitous behavior.

2. Comply with the restraining order: A temporary restraining order pending a final hearing is just what it says it is, an order of the court. If you choose to violate any of its directives, you are in violation of the law and likely to be prosecuted. This also puts you in a much worse position as far as the underlying injunction case goes.

3. Prepare your case thoroughly: These are real cases with real consequences. A negative finding could affect placement if your case is moving in the direction of divorce and you may be subject to loss of gun privileges. Here in Wisconsin, where many of my clients are hunters, this is a very big deal.

4. Behave yourself in court: Despite what you may think, disrespectful behavior such as gesturing, dirty looks and profanity will not endear you to the court official hearing your case. In fact, that type of inappropriate conduct may earn you an opportunity to sample the sheriff’s hospitality!

So in short, calm down and cooperate with the able lawyer you retain and things are likely to get better. Fail to do so and you may be playing into your adversary’s hands. Good Luck.

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