You are here

How To Get A Restraining Order In Georgia

October 25, 2016

Whether you’ve acquired a stalker or you need to protect you or your children from a menacing family member, restraining orders are a legal and formal way of saying “stay away.” Find out if you should file for a restraining order in Georgia and what it involves.

What Can a Restraining Order Do for Me?

Restraining orders, also called protection orders, are issued by court telling people to do or not do certain things. This can be anything from telling property owners to keep down the noise to keeping harassers at bay. If you are in a threatening situation judges can use restraining orders to prohibit abusive people from contacting (or hurting) you.

When Should I Get One?

As far as civil cases go, getting a restraining order may be part of the procedure requested in divorce cases. Otherwise, if your health or livelihood is threatened by another person, it may be a good idea to get a restraining order.

  • Physical Violence
    With proven violence acts or threats against you or your children (record conversations or capture video of such threats) a restraining order can prohibit your spouse or partner from communicating with you in any way. If you live with an abuser, restraining orders may force him or her to move out. If you’re in imminent danger of physical violence, you may request an emergency restraining order from an arresting officer.
  • Psychological Abuse
    Restraining orders can be obtained due to psychological abuse. Threatened harm, either from someone you know or a stalker, is considered psychological abuse — especially when it interferes with your daily life or your ability to do your job. If needed, the restraining order can prevent all contact with you including: mail, phone, email or even contact through other people.
  • Depletion of Assets
    If you can prove that your ex is hiding money or destroying assets to prevent you from acquiring your share, the court may issue a restraining order to prevent further action. You can also request a restraining order against a third party like a bank to prevent it from assisting your ex in disposing of marital assets.
  • Patent & Trademark Infringement
    If you’re a business owner or inventor, you may obtain a restraining order during a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit. Selling or manufacturing an item that you invented or using your logo without your consent is infringing upon your ownership rights.

How Do I Get a Restraining Order?

If you’re a victim or potential victim, you must apply to a judge for a restraining order. You must convince the judge that it's necessary to prevent continuing or imminent harm. In a domestic violence situation, however, the judge may issue a temporary order immediately, then later hold a hearing to determine whether to make the restraining order final.

If you’re looking to get the application process started, visit the Georgia Superior Court Clerks' Cooperative Authority’s website where you can find the most current forms in an editable PDF format.

After the hearing, when your restraining order is in effect, Georgia police are directed by statute to arrest the defendant, for violating the order. Violating a restraining order is considered a crime (such as contempt of court).

Protect Your Family

In Georgia, a civil restraining order is also known as a "Family Violence Protection Order." Restraining orders offer you legal protection from domestic violence, harassment, depletion of assets or trademark infringement. It prohibits the offender from having contact with you for a specified period of time. If the offender violates a restraining order, it’s a crime and he or she could be jailed and charged with more than one crime.

About the Author

April Lentini is the Content Strategist for GeorgiaGov. She empowers content managers for government agencies, helping them understand and improve their website content for optimal usability.

 

This information was prepared as a public service of the State of Georgia to provide general information, not to advise on any specific legal problem. It is not, and cannot be construed to be, legal advice. If you have questions regarding any matter contained on this page, please speak with the agency that is the source of the information.

You might like...

February 15, 2018

Human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery. Women, children, and men are coerced and manipulated every day to perform acts and services that are against their will. The United States government and Georgia government are working hard to combat this epidemic. Here’s how you can also get involved to help.

August 29, 2017

Biking is a fun way to exercise and explore the community around you. But before you go out, be sure you know these rules of the road and safety precautions. Want to join the biking community? Georgia has cycling events all year long!

August 17, 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, parts of America will plunge into darkness in the middle of the day. You don’t want to miss it, but remember to protect your eyes! Learn how to identify proper viewing equipment, how to stay safe on the roads, and more.