Family Services


Restraining Order FAQs


How much does it cost to file a Restraining Order?


There is no charge or fee to file a restraining order.



Do I need an attorney to file for a restraining order?


No. An attorney is not required in order to file for a restraining order.



Am I eligible to file a restraining order?


Please refer to the Restraining Orders section for information on types of restraining orders and the requirements for filing.



What relief will the restraining order provide for me?


The "Respondent" is the person who you allege engaged in an act or acts of domestic violence. 


If the Court grants a restraining order, it will prohibit the respondent from continuing any acts or threats of violence. The Court may also order the respondent to vacate your residence, stay away from your residence and stay away from your place of employment. If the restraining order states that there is to be "no contact" between the parties, the Respondent is prohibited from communicating with the Petitioner either directly, indirectly or through a third party. The Respondent must abide by the Court's order or face criminal charges.



How long will the restraining order last?


Upon the filing of a Petition for a restraining order, a Judge will review the Petition to determine whether it has merit. If the Petition has merit, the Judge will issue a temporary restraining order until a hearing can be held to determine whether a permanent restraining order should be issued. The temporary restraining order is in effect for 15 days. If a permanent restraining order is issued, it is permanent unless otherwise ordered by the Judge.



What happens after the judge grants a temporary restraining order?


The Respondent must be personally served with a copy of the Petition, the temporary restraining order and the notice for a formal hearing. The hearing is held so that the Judge can determine whether to issue a permanent restraining order.



What happens at the hearing?


The Judge decides whether to issue a permanent restraining order. The Judge may order an extension of the temporary restraining order if the Respondent has not been served. The Judge will specify what conditions or restrictions are to be placed upon the Respondent. Some examples of conditions or restrictions that the Judge may order include: 

  • Requirement that the Respondent undergo counseling
  • Recommendation that the Petitioner and any children in the home receive counseling
  • Award of custody of the child or children, including terms of visitation
  • Requirement that child support be paid through the Clerk's Office

 All provisions of the restraining order expire when the restraining order expires. The restraining order is not intended to provide a method to obtain custody of, or support for, a child. As a courtesy, the Judge may address these issues at the hearing. However, if the Respondent fails to comply with the visitation or child support portion of the order, you should contact the Clerk's Office at (407) 836-2000 or in room 315 of the Orange County Courthouse.



Am I required to attend the hearing?


Yes. If you cannot attend the hearing, you must call (407) 836-2001 for further instructions. The Judge may hold you in contempt of court for failing to appear at the hearing.



What if I decide that I don't want a permanent restraining order to be issued?


At the hearing, you may ask the Judge to dismiss the restraining order. The Judge will decide whether or not to do so. If the hearing has already been held and you want to request a dismissal of the restraining order, you may come to room 315 of the courthouse to file the request.



The judge ordered an extension of the temporary restraining order. What's next?


If the restraining order states that the parties are to have "no contact," that means there should be no communication - either directly, indirectly or through a third party - between the Petitioner and Respondent.



Is the respondent allowed to get personal belongings once an order is granted?


Yes. The Respondent may retrieve personal belongings from the residence in the presence of a law enforcement officer.



The order specifies that there is to be "no contact." What does that mean?


If the restraining order states that the parties are to have "no contact," that means there should be no communication - either directly, indirectly or through a third party - between the Petitioner and Respondent.



If the respondent has violated the restraining order, what should I do?


Call law enforcement and report the incident. Then come to the Clerk's Family Services Division in Room 315 of the courthouse to file a Petition for Violation of Injunction.