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Legal Information: Federal


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Can I get a restraining order even if I am not a citizen or legal resident?

Yes. You do not need to be a citizen or legal resident to get a restraining order.

For a restraining order to be effective, you must be willing to call the police to enforce the order. Applications for restraining orders are generally available at courthouses, women’s shelters, legal services offices, and some police stations.

You will also find information about applying for these orders on this website (www.WomensLaw.org). Restraining orders are different in each state. They may be called Protection Orders, Orders of Protection, or other similar names in your state. To read more about the process, choose the state you are in from the drop-down menu on the top, left corner of each page of this website. Then, click on Restraining Order.

A court generally will not ask about your immigration status when you ask for a restraining order. You may want to ask a lawyer, a shelter worker, or someone from an immigrant advocacy group about the policy in your court. To find help, please click on the Places that Help and then chose your state from the drop-down menu.