How to Fight a Restraining Order?
You have been served with a restraining order; unfortunately, the odds of defeating such an order, without an experienced attorney are not good.
What do to first. Read the order carefully the Order that was served to you by the police, and pay attention to the part that says avoid any contact (or third party contact) with the protected person. The violation of making contact is more severe than the Order, and the violation results in a criminal charge. Very important, the restraining order is civil, but a violation is a criminal violation which results in a criminal charge that will be placed on your criminal record, with criminal penalties..
The second area to address is obtaining the written affidavit that was made by the plaintiff/complainant. The handwritten affidavit is rarely, if ever, served with the Order; however, the affidavit is very important and needed to defend your case.
The Affidavit is the handwritten explanation by the person that obtained the Order against you (the plaintiff/complainant). The affidavit is obtained by you going to the Courthouse where the Order was issued from; then going into the Clerk's office. Bring the Order with you because it has the Docket Number on it, and ask the clerk for a copy of the affidavit. They will know exactly what you mean and give you a copy. Now you will know the particulars of what the person said which resulted in having the order issued.
Let me state again, whatever you do ... no contact and no 3rd Party contact, no cards, no flowers and no gifts. Do not become angry and make a mistake because while some emotions are understandable, but the easiest way for the plaintiff/complainant to win an extension is for you to make or try to make contact.
3rd Evidence. For you to win and have the Order vacated, you need evidence and witnesses. If you are able to show that you were not at a location described; that you witness(es) that disputes the allegations; that you have pictures that show something different; that you videos that help; that you have a voicemail that helps; text message or written notes contrary to what is being alleged , then the likelihood of success just became much greater.
For example, store receipts that have dates and times on them showing that you were somewhere else, photographs that depict damage, emails, texts, GPS tracking by phone records, other records and credible witnesses that you can bring to court will be instrumental to disprove the alleged misconduct, etc., etc.
Can a Restraining Order be Modified or Vacated after it is issued?
Your best chance for success is your first time-in before the judge, but you may have tried it yourself and lost, or there was not enough evidence. What happens then? There is the possibility of moving to vacate or modifying a restraining order after it has been issued. These attempts are hard to achieve but possible., or you can appeal the Order.
When to appeal to a higher court if an order is issued against you.
Time is of the essence. If an order has been issued against you because you then have, at most 30 days to appeal but far fewer days to put the necessary paperwork in order for filing. Few attorneys defend restraining orders (or even know how), and far fewer do appeals of restraining orders. Attorney Ciaffoni does both, but the process are both time consuming and expensive. It may be worth it to you, or it may be important just to know what your rights are,.
The Law Office of Attorney Ciaffoni has served the Plymouth, Barnstable, and Bristol Counties of Massachusetts for over 20+ years, and has a team of qualified individuals who are willing to assist you in these matters.