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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of April 5, 2024

Step 3: A judge will consider your petition.

You or an intake counselor will take the forms to the clerk’s office, where court staff will open a court file for you. Court staff will then direct you to the courtroom, where a judge will look at your petition and decide if there is enough immediate danger to give you a temporary order. Temporary protection order hearings at the Anacostia Professional Building are conducted via a video teleconference with the judge where you will sit in front of a camera and watch the judge on a television screen.

In either case, the judge may ask you some questions, or may decide based only on what is written in your petition. If the judge grants the temporary protection order, you will get a copy of it. The judge will also set a hearing date for your final protection order within 14 days. Even if you are not granted the temporary protection order, the judge can still set your case down for a hearing within 14 days.