About a week ago I wrote a post on this blog entitled I have been served with a Temporary Restraining Order, now What? It received a fair amount of attention so I thought I had better write a follow up. There are two types of TRO’s granted in anticipation of an injunction hearing in Wisconsin regularly. Those related to harassment which often arise out of neighbor disputes and those related to domestic abuse. This post will address the domestic abuse variety. If you have been served and you are asking yourself if you need a lawyer don’t think about it any more, you do. If the court grants an injunction, there are serious consequences. These are serious cases that require the attention of a skilled professional. Some of the consequences you face include:
* Not being able to go to certain places or to do certain things.
* Losing control of certain property.
* Having to move out of your home.
* Not being able to see your children, go near other relatives or near others that live with you.
* Losing possession, care and control of your family pet.
* Not being able to own a gun or ammunition. If you already own a gun, it may have to be turned in or sold.
* If the TRO is violated, you may go to jail, pay a fine or both.
With all of these potential consequences, your hearing will come up rather quickly on the court’s calendar. You will need to consult with an attorney immediately in order for him to represent you effectively. Sometimes these matters arise out of emotional situations. Other times they are filed as a means of gaining advantage in an anticipated placement Often in the light of day, cooler heads prevail and an amicable settlement can be reached. Often, your spouse or significant other does not want to terminate that relationship and an effective negotiator can get help to get you back on track. You will not be able to have these discussions as there is a court order preventing you from doing so.
Unfortunately, often settlements cannot be reached and these cases need to go to hearing. You need a skilled litigator to advance your position and protect you from the direct consequences of this order and any potential criminal penalties. It is also worth noting that these cases appear on ccap. A future employer may not want to hire someone who has been on the wrong end of a TRO. You will need to provide your attorney with accurate information and any witnesses available. Many of these cases are nothing more than a “he said, she said.” The court will be likely to see things your way if you can support your claims.
Lastly, keep a cool head. If you lose in front of the Court Commissioner, you can always file a de novo appeal which gives you a second opportunity to be heard. You must file for this within the required timelines, so please see an attorney. Good luck.