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Protective Orders

Any person, regardless of his or her immigration or citizenship status, has a right to live in a safe environment, free from the threat of harm from a family member or an acquaintance. If someone you know is engaging in a pattern of harassment or abuse (including physical abuse or sexual abuse, verbal threats, property damage or stalking), you can seek protection by filing a petition and obtaining a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the perpetrator.

  • In the District Court, if you need to extend the TRO for your protection, you may request an injunction for up to three years.
  • In the Family Court, if the TRO is against a family or household member and you need to extend the TRO for your protection, you may request an order for protection for any reasonable period of time.

If granted, the order sets guidelines aimed at protecting you. This can include prohibiting the defendant/respondent from calling or visiting you.

 How to Obtain a TRO

  • If the defendant is not related to you by blood and you have never lived together, please file through District Court.
  • If the defendant is a family member, or has or had a dating relationship with the person seeking the TRO, please file through Family Court.