How to File a Restraining Order

Gillian, a 27 year old software professional had been noticing for a few days on her way back home after work, that someone was stalking her and it was not a very pleasant feeling. Although she never had a confrontation from the stalker, the chances of that were on the anvil anytime. She held her cool for a few days by changing her route, having someone accompany her and things like that, but nothing worked. And the worst part was, she knew the stalker and he was from the neighborhood. Finally, she consulted one of her friends who was an attorney for legal advice and filed a restraining order against the stalker.

That was just a case to prove the point of when to file for an order of protection and in what circumstances. Here is the detailed process for filing explained.

Filing a Restraining Order

– If you are in potential and immediate danger, call the emergency (911). even in the situation where you are threatened, abused, and/or the matter has ended, call and tell the police that you want to press charges. If at all the case is immediately prosecuted, the court will issue an order of protection immediately.
– Get the family to a safe place and ask for help. People are mostly helpful in such matters and they would assist you in filing a restraining order.
– Approaching the police station would be of help, as the officers there would definitely give more detailed information on how to press charges.
– Call up the local family court (in case of domestic violence) and ask how to file an order of protection. Then, you would need to go to the court and get the requisite documents.
– Next, you would need to fill out the papers properly and carefully. Inclusion of social security numbers, birth dates, date of the incident/incidences of abuse or stalking, witnesses’ names, and if at all there are any evidences, like photographs.
In the context of a woman being a victim of domestic violence and she has children, the woman can get a restraining order for them as well. If instructed so, sign the papers before a notary. An order of protection against domestic violence can only be obtained during a divorce.

This was mainly in connection with domestic abuse. In case it is something different, you have an option of filing a harassment restraining order.

Filing a Harassment Restraining Order

– Ensure whether you are being harassed in legal terms and if the situation is so critical. An order of restraint can be easily overturned in case you do not have a cause good enough to file the order in the first place.
– Consult a law enforcement officer or an attorney before you file a restraining order about your jurisdiction. The procedure would slightly vary depending upon the area, but there would be forms specifically meant for order of protection. They would have to be filed with a city or county clerk.
– Initially, it would be a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), having a validity between 5-15 days of filing the order.
– Once the court reviews the order, you can decide if you want to file for a permanent restraining order (PRO). If you want to file for a PRO, it is better to hire an attorney.
– One of the most important things to remember is to avoid and refuse any contact with the restrained party. If you are skeptical about the fact that you need protection, you would jeopardize your wish to turn your TRO into PRO.
– The laws vary depending upon the country you are in, so you would need to be careful about that as well.

Restraining order could prove to be extremely crucial when it comes to your own safety. So if you are facing something like Gillian, and you are sure about that, then do not think twice about putting an order of restraint on the person. Ultimately, your safety is what matters, and being able to live without fear is one of the most important and fundamental rights in the constitution of any country.

Prepaid Legal Services Scam

We never say no to an insurance policy, do we? The chances of your house getting burnt or you dying are quite rare, but despite being improbable, don’t you pay a hefty sum towards insurance premium? Then, why not towards prepaid legal service, you may ask. Statistically speaking, the number of times you are going to be sued in your lifetime is surely more than the number of times you’re going to die. So, isn’t a few hundred dollars towards prepaid legal services a good investment, if you’ll be covered against legal issues for the rest of your life? It certainly is, if only you were assured that the legal companies would actually do the work that you are paying them for.

Prepaid Legal Scams

– Scams in the legal issues have been taking place all over the United States with alarming regularity, so it is always good to be a bit cautious. While I’m not discarding the idea of prepaid legal services as an out-and-out sham, there are people out there who are giving this system a bad name.
– Scams may not be illegal, but they may be ripping you off by giving false promises of legal advice and services, but ditching you along the way.
– There have been many reports that suggest that the companies offering the prepaid legal services are not really delivering the goods.
– Scams occur, as the people pay these companies the required amount of money each month, and when the time comes to deliver the service, they become evasive or sometimes even send some non-qualified people along to help you.
– Most people, due to their own ignorance, end up paying a lot more as premiums as compared to what they would otherwise spend as lawyer fees.
– Attorney charges for routine work such as consultation and will preparation are negligible for which the price you end up paying as legal services charges are a lot more.
– At the same time, legal services that are otherwise more expensive, such as court hearings for imprisonment may not be covered in your prepaid plan.

Are you a Victim of a Services Scam?

– Many times, in a bid to appear legally above board, the companies running the scams overdo their part by boasting a ‘large network’ of legal aid providers.
– But, most of the time, no sources are cited out of this ‘large network’. Since they are after your money, they will keep deadlines for registration and fee payment.
– If they are unable to lure clients post the deadline period, they will offer substantial discounts.
– Often, there are ‘many lawyers’ working with them, but no profiles are displayed.
– Also, you may spot a fake testimonial when you see one. The internet is filled with such fake testimonials, and they are readily identifiable. But the most appalling mistakes of all are the spelling mistakes these ‘lawyers’ commit on their websites.
– While this idea was started by someone with a seriously noble thought of being able to serve the society, some miscreants have taken it forward and are fooling innocent people and playing with their hard-earned money.

Precautions

There are some precautions you can take to avoid being a part of these services scams. The first one is to ask yourself the question, ‘Do I really need it?’. How many times are you hauled into court anyway? What are the chances you are going to need expensive legal services? If the answer to the previous question was that you need legal services often, the next thing to think about is, ‘What cost would I incur, if I wasn’t covered?’. Before you subject yourself to a long-term payment agreement, do a bit of analysis. See the prices of legal services and compare them to the premium you are paying periodically. Should all the findings be in place in your opinion, make sure the company you are selecting has a good reputation and name. Make sure that the people who vouch for and work for the company exist.

After all, it is your hard-earned money and you should be able to take the best, most responsible decisions. Do not fall prey to a legal service scam; it’s no use crying over spilt milk.