Where should a petition under this law be filed?
Your employer should file the petition in the superior court of the county where the respondent who committed the violence or threats lives.1 If the respondent is not a resident of Georgia, however, the superior court in the county where your workplace is located is the correct place to file regardless of whether this is where the violence or threats happened. 2
1 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(c)(1)
2 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(c)(2)
What are the necessary steps to file for a temporary restraining order and an injunction and how long do they last?
A court case starts when your employer files a petition seeking an injunction.1 If your employer wants a temporary restraining order, an affidavit will also need to be filed along with the petition and your employer will need to appear in front of the judge on the same day. Then the judge will decide whether to issue the temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order issued under this law can last for up to 15 days.1
The abuser (“respondent”) must then be personally served with a copy of the petition, the notice of the hearing, and the temporary restraining order if it was granted.2 A hearing on whether an injunction should be issued will be held within 10 days of the date your employer files the petition.3 If the judge believes that the respondent committed the unlawful violence or credible threat of violence alleged in the petition, an injunction issued under this law can last up to three years.3
The court will expect your employer to deliver a copy of any order issued, whether it’s a temporary restraining order or an injunction issued after the hearing, to the local law enforcement agencies that the employer chooses by the end of the day the order is issued. This is required so that law enforcement officers will know that the order exists and what it says if they respond to reports of violence or a credible threat of violence at your workplace in the future.4
1 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(d)
2 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(f)
3 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(e)
4 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(g)
What does my employer need to prove to qualify for a temporary restraining order?
In order to qualify for a temporary restraining order, your employer must include an affidavit that shows these three things:
- you suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence by the respondent;
- great harm will come to you if the injunction is not granted; and
- your employer has conducted a reasonable investigation into the underlying facts that are alleged in the petition.1
1 Ga. Code § 34-1-7(d)