A temporary restraining order (TRO) is valid for 180 days from the time the TRO is granted and filed. If you want to extend the TRO, an Order to Show Cause (OSC) hearing is required. The date and time of your OSC hearing appears on your TRO. During this hearing, the judge decides whether to extend the TRO beyond 180 days. The judge can issue a protective order for a time period as he or she deems necessary. The judge may also decide who has temporary custody of the children. In addition, the judge can order that the abuser take domestic violence intervention or substance abuse programs.
The respondent will be ordered by the court to appear for the hearing. If you do not appear, your petition may be dismissed, even if the respondent hasn't been served with a copy of the TRO.
At the hearing, the respondent will have a chance to defend against your claims. Be prepared to present evidence about the abuse. In your case, you may:
If the respondent has an attorney, but you don't have one, you may ask the judge to continue the court date so that you can hire an attorney. The judge may or may not grant your request. If the judge denies your request, the hearing will proceed with presenting your evidence.
The judge will order the respondent to turn his/her firearms over to the police when the injunction is granted.
If a protective order is ordered, stay in the courtroom until the judge gives both you and the respondent certified copies of the new court order. You can ask the judge to allow you to exit the courtroom first.
Keep a copy of your TRO with you at all times and report violations to the police immediately.
Remember, a TRO or injunction does not necessarily make you safe. Please take proper precautions.