How do harassment-restraining orders differ from Orders for Protection?
Stillwater family law attorney, Matt Ludt, discusses restraining order and orders for protection.
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They can differ in two ways: one, the factual basis upon which they’re issued, and their procedure. An order for protection is granted when there’s been bodily harm caused or the intentional infliction of immediate bodily harm or sexual assault. Harassment restraining order is just as it sounds, is when there’s been harassment, which is defined as the intrusive or repeated acts, words or gestures that have a significant effect on one’s safety, security or privacy, so very different things. You can also get an HRO for some – if you’re out picketing in front of someone’s house and some other things, but namely the HROs are awarded for harassment. Now, the procedure differs in that an OFP you can apply for and the judge could grant right away and schedule a hearing, but there’s an initial – it’s in place right away, and then there’s a hearing, and then it either stays in place or it’s dismissed.
Harassment restraining order, a lot of times judges will just grant them, serve them on the respondent, and if the respondent doesn’t ask for a hearing in 45 days, it just stays in place for a year or more. And so, there are some – those differences plus the other remedies at law. For instance, like in an – under an OFP you can get child support as well if it’s against an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, whereas HRO doesn’t allow you to do that.