Step 6: The order to show cause (OSC) hearing
Within 15 days of being granted your TRO, an order to show cause (OSC) hearing date will be scheduled. The date and time of your OSC hearing appears on your TRO. A judge will hear all of the evidence and decide whether to extend your TRO beyond 180 days. If the judge believes that a final order of protection should be issued, s/he will grant you an order that can last for as long as s/he determines is necessary (usually up to 3 years).1
You must go to the hearing. If you do not appear, your petition will be dismissed. If the abuser has received notice of the hearing, but does not show up, the judge will generally continue with the hearing. If the abuser has not received notice of the hearing, the judge may order a new hearing date and extend your temporary restraining order.
Advocates may be available to assist you at your OSC hearing. You have the right to bring a lawyer to represent you at the hearing. If you need more time to get a lawyer (especially if, for example, you show up to court and the abuser has a lawyer and you do not), you may ask the judge for a “continuance” to set a later court date so you can have time to find a lawyer for yourself.
See the Preparing Your Case section under the Preparing for Court tab at the top of this page for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.
1 HRS § 586-5.5(a)