How to get a restraining order

July 08, 2016

A relationship that has gone sour or is on the rocks can bring out the unpleasant side of a partner.

A person's significant other can become physically violent causing the person to seek protection from external sources - such as requesting a restraining order. Here is how to seek a restraining order:

1. Under the Domestic Violence Act, the court should grant an individual protection or restraining or occupation order if you can prove you are being stalked or ill-treated.

2. A restraining order can be sought regardless of whether you are a man, woman or child, and irrespective of your relationship to your abuser.

3. If you are being abused, you can go to the Family Court or the parish court, if there is no Family Court, and speak to a counsellor or clerk. The counsellor or clerk will assist in filling out a form so that the matter can be brought before a judge.

4. When the matter is mentioned in court, the judge will grant an interim order to let the abuser know that they are not allowed to come within a certain distance of the complainant.

5. If the complainant is afraid to face their abuser, then a bailiff or a police officer within their community may be asked to inform the partner of the interim order.

6. The case would then be tried by the court, which will grant a protection order. This order will detail the distance the abuser has to stay away from the complainant and how long the order will be enforced.

7. The court may grant a restraining or protection order to prevent the other person from entering or remaining in the house they shared, the workplace or school.

8. If your abuser violates the terms of the order, then you would need to inform your nearest police station so that the matter can be investigated and charges laid. The penalty for violating a restraining order is $10,000 or six months' imprisonment.

9. A person against whom the order has been made would be given the opportunity to show the court why it should be discharged if they are of this view.

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