1. Fill out Restraining Order forms
You will need to fill out the following forms and make 3 copies of each:
- Petition and Affidavit for an Emergency Workplace Protection Restraining Order: Tells the judge why you are asking for the Restraining Order
- Summons: Tells the abuser about the case
- Workplace Protection Restraining Order: This is the document the judge will sign if your petition is granted.
2. File your forms with the court
Now that you have filled out your forms, you need to file them with the clerk. The way to do that depends on the county where you are filing.
When you file your forms with the clerk they become part of the case. The clerk will stamp your forms. This stamp is important because it's proof that you filed the form with the court.
- E-filing: The documents you want to file with the court have to be uploaded into the system. You will need to create an account. See E-filing Basics for details.
- Paper filing: If you are paper filing bring the forms to the clerk at the courthouse in the county where you are filing. Bring all your copies and the originals with you when you file. Ask the clerk to stamp all your forms. They will keep the original. Keep at least one copy for your records. See courthouse locations.
The judge will then decide if an Emergency Order is necessary. They will also set a date for a full court hearing for a Plenary Workplace Protection Restraining Order.
3. Get the Sheriff to tell the other party about your case
The clerk will take the court documents to the county sheriff's office. The Sheriff will serve the petition and summons to the abuser, along with the Emergency Order, if one was granted. The Sheriff will charge a fee to deliver a copy of the court papers to the respondent. If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you can learn more about filing court papers for free.
4. Go to the hearing
Go to the court date for the Plenary Order, which can last for up to one year. The judge will decide whether or not your petition should be granted.
At the hearing, the victim may be called to testify, unless he or she is a victim of domestic violence. A victim of domestic violence cannot be ordered to appear in court or testify in this type of case. If the judge decides that testifying might cause the victim distress, the victim can testify in the judge's chambers.
If the abuser does not come to court, the judge may decide to go forward with the hearing and issue a Plenary Order. The judge may also decide to continue the case and reschedule the hearing.
If the judge enters a Workplace Protection Restraining Order, and the abuser violates the order, the employer will have to go back to court to ask the judge to punish him or her. They can do this by filing a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause.
Updated: January 2018