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About Filing for Your Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

When you arrive at District Court, a court officer will help you fill out the necessary forms. Or, if you wish to fill them out ahead of time, please download them from the District Court portion of the Forms section.

You will be the “petitioner” and the defendant is called the “respondent.” If the TRO is granted, the respondent must be served with a copy. Please explain to the clerk if you don’t want the respondent to know your address or telephone number.

More Details Give You Greater Protection

Please be prepared to provide as much detail as possible. Examples of important details include:

  • Dates of abuse or threats.
  • Description of physical or psychological abuse.
  • Information about property damage.
  • Documentation about abuse, including medical and police reports.
  • Information about whether the abuser owns a gun or has threatened you with one.
  • Name of parent or guardian, if the abuser is 17 or younger.

Your petition may be denied if not enough details are provided.

Filing Information for Juveniles

If you are 17 or younger, one of your parents or a legal guardian must accompany you to file the TRO on your behalf. If you are filing against a minor, please provide the names of the minor’s parents or guardians. If you cannot have a parent or legal guardian come with you, explain why in your petition. If you are 17 or younger and you are married, you can file a petition in your name alone.


There is a $15.00 filing fee for the TRO, which can be waived in exceptional circumstances. Personal checks are accepted. If the TRO is granted, the clerk will give you certified copies of the TRO. Ask the clerk to “conform” all copies by stamping the judge’s signature and the date of signing on all orders. Let the clerk know how many copies of the TRO you will need.

After the TRO is Granted

If the TRO is granted, a TRO/Injunction hearing will be scheduled within 15 days. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if you can extend protection beyond 90 days. A District Court clerk will give you a hearing date and time, which will appear on the TRO. You do not have to have an attorney at the TRO/Injunction hearing, but you may want one, especially if you think the respondent will obtain legal counsel.

Your TRO will not take effect until it is served on the respondent.

Keep a copy of your TRO with you at all times.