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In Rhode Island, restraining orders are protective orders issued by a judge typically after an allegation of domestic violence or domestic abuse.  Restraining orders are commonly issued through the family court as part of divorce proceedings.  If you need help obtaining a RI restraining order or defending yourself after someone has filed a restraining order against you, contact the family court lawyers at Braatz Family Law today for help.  They are available 24/7 at (401) 440-1171.

At Braatz Family Law, our seasoned restraining order attorneys represent Clients throughout Rhode Island.  We understand that each of our clients have unique family law needs and goals in obtaining legal representation.  We have worked with many clients who are seeking unique legal solutions to safeguard them from physical, emotional, or financial harm from domestic violence or abuse situations.

Our protective order lawyers work with our clients to provide clear legal guidance for each client’s unique circumstances, so they are fully informed regarding whether obtaining restraining order will fit their unique needs.

It’s extremely important that you hire a law firm that has the skills required to fight for you and dedicates the time to educate you about all your legal options. The more you know about your legal options, the more prepared you will be to proceed with your case with confidence and the happier you will be with the outcome of your case. That is what our Rhode Island family law protective orders attorneys seek to provide our clients. We provide assurance that you are moving in the right direction, so you can feel confident about your future.

What Is a Restraining Order in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, there are several different types of restraining orders that can include an array of different provisions. Essentially, they are a legal document that prohibits one person from certain actions and orders how they must behave going forward.

Why Would I Take Out a Restraining Order?

In Rhode Island, there are several different reasons for taking out a restraining orders. Here is a list:

  • Contacting, calling, or sending any kind of messages
  • Stalking
  • Threatening
  • Attacking, striking, or battering (physical harm, physical abuse or sexual abuse)
  • Destroying personal property
  • Harassing
  • Disturbing the peace of the protected people

What Different Types of Restraining Orders Are There in Rhode Island?

  • Family Court Restraining Order: Family Court restraining orders are issued by the Rhode Island Family Court and apply when the individuals subject to the Order are married or have a child together.
  • Criminal No Contact Order: A no contact order is a protective order that is issued by either the Rhode Island District Court or the Rhode Island Superior Court as part of a criminal domestic violence case.  It prevents the accused from contacting the victim of a criminal offense.
  • Civil Restraining Order (substantive): When the parties involved in a restraining order are dating or have been within the prior six months, the Rhode Island District Court has the authority to issue a civil restraining order between the parties.
  • Superior Court Civil Restraining Order (non-intimate): A restraining order that is granted for individuals who are not romantically involved. For example, we typically see these orders arise during disputes between two people that are neighbors.

Restraining orders are not specific to family violence, but we have found that they often happen within families and are very common in divorce proceedings. Regardless, they prohibit one individual from certain actions, for example, contact or harassment. In family law, actual examples of restraining orders include: prohibiting both parties from emptying bank accounts, taking out new loans or credit cards, or talking negatively about each other to other parties. Overall, they help to regulate the behaviors of each party, so the divorce can proceed in a civil manner.

These orders simply say stop this behavior now! If you have questions about the broad range of restraining orders in Rhode Island, the restraining order lawyers at Braatz Family Law we can provide the information you need to pursue the order as a temporary solution to your current family dynamics.  If you have questions or you don’t want to go it alone, call us today at (401) 440-1171.

Frequently Asked Restraining Order Questions

Here are a few of the most common questions your attorney can give you legal counsel on once you have retained them.

Question: Who can a family court restraining order apply to?

Answer: Family court restraining orders apply to family and household members. Rhode Island law defines family and household members as:
– Spouses and former spouses
– Parents who share a child or children
– Relatives, either blood or adoptive
– Individuals who live together, regardless of their relationship
– Current or former partners
– Current dating partners, even if they do not live together

Question: What is the name of the form that I need to file a family court restraining order and where can I find it?
Answer: The form can be found on the Rhode Island state judiciary webpage under the Family Court section. If you scroll to the next page of this section, the form is titled “Complaint for an Order of Protection.”

Question: Where and what is the name of the form that I need to file a civil restraining order (dating relationship only)?
Answer: The form can be found on the Rhode Island state judiciary webpage under the District Court section. If you scroll to the next page of this section, the form is titled “Domestic Abuse Complaint.”

Question: I have a restraining order against a family member that includes a no contact provision, are they allowed to text me?
Answer: Legally, we would need to see a copy of the Court’s actual and precise Order to accurately answer this question.  In general, if a no contact order or restraining order is in place, this will make it unlawful to contact the protected party while the order is in effect. This includes all types of contact, whether by telephone, text messages, notes, mail, fax, email, through a third person, or delivery of flowers or gifts.

Question: Someone I have a restraining order against stopped by my school this week. Should I be worried?
Answer: Yes, as this is not allowed and you should report this immediately. A majority of states, including Rhode Island, implement a “stay away” order as part of the restraining order. This implies that the person in which the restraining order is against shall not stay away from you, your home, your workplace, or your school.

Question: I’m worried that the person I have a restraining order against may retaliate with gun violence. Is there something the court can assist with?
Answer: Yes. There is the option to include “Relinquish Firearms” that most states including Rhode Island can include in the restraining order. In certain cases, some courts might be able to order the abuser to turn over any guns, rifles and ammunition he or she has.

Question: What are some other provisions that can be included in restraining orders?
– Cease abuse- order the abuser to stop hurting or threatening you.
– Stay away- the majority of states’ orders can instruct the abuser to stay away from you, your home, your workplace, or your school.
– No contact- to prohibit all contact, whether by telephone, text messages, notes, mail, fax, email, through a third person, or delivery of flowers or gifts.
– Exclusive use- to award you sole use of a home or car owned by both of you.
– Restitution- to pay you for medical costs or property damage caused by the abuser, for example.
– Relinquish firearms- some courts might be able to order the abuser to turn over any guns, rifles and ammunition s/he has.
– Custody, visitation, and child support- many jurisdictions also allow the court to make decisions about the care and safety of your children as part of your restraining order. Courts can order the abuser to stay away from and have no contact with your children’s doctors, daycare, school or after-school job and many courts can make temporary custody/visitation decisions. Some can even issue child support orders within the restraining order. You can also ask the court to order supervised visitation, or to specify a safe arrangement for transferring the children back and forth between you and the abuser.

Question: If I have a restraining order against me that I deem unnecessary, what steps should I take?
Answer: The first event that will happen is that you will be served with a temporary restraining order and you should obey the temporary restraining order to not cause further issues with the order if you intend to fight against it. You should then contact an experienced restraining order attorney immediately, so that you can prepare for the hearing on the permanent order.

Question: What will my lawyer have me do to prepare for the case?
– Meet with you to discuss what happened and what options you have prior to the hearing.
– Pull together any physical evidence relating to any incidents or events the petition refers to, such as clothing, photos, videos, and objects.
– Gather any documents or records that could relate to the case, such as letters, emails, phone and GPS records, computer records, and records that might show where you were at the time of an incident, and
– Create a list of possible witnesses—include every person you think has information about the incident, the accusations or the petitioner—and obtain the witnesses’ contact information.

Question: How would the above preparation be important to my case?
Answer: If the person who has applied for the restraining order has made false accusations, you may have photos, videos, or witness statements that could contradict allegations against you. Even GPS records may enable you to disprove an accusation if the petitioner states you have been driving by their house.

Braatz Family Law: RI Restraining Order Legal Assistance

If you find yourself in a position where you need to obtain a family court protective order or you have been served with a family court restraining order, let the attorneys At Braatz Family Law put their experience with the Rhode Island Family Court system and restraining order hearings to work for you today.  They are available 24/7 for legal assistance at (401) 440-1171.  Time may be limited to file or defend yourself.  Don’t delay, call today.