What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
There are some things you may want to consider doing after you have been granted an injunction against harassment. Depending on what you think is safest in your situation, you may decide to do any or all of the following:
- Review the injunction before you leave the courthouse. If you have any questions about it, you can try to ask the judge or the clerk.
- Make several copies of the injunction as soon as possible. Keep a copy of the injunction with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the restraining injunction at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the harasser. Give a copy of the injunction to anyone who is named in and protected by the injunction and encourage them to make their own copies.
- You may wish to consider changing your locks (if permitted by law) and your phone number.
- If the clerk is forwarding the order to law enforcement for service, you may want to call law enforcement to make sure they have received copies of the injunction against harassment from the clerk and to ask for updates on when it is being served.
- If you are concerned about your safety when exiting the courthouse, you may want to notify a court officer and ask if s/he would accompany you to your car.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. People can do a number of things to increase their safety from harassment. Many harassers obey injunctions, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. For tips on staying safe, go to our Safety Tips for Stalking Victims page.
I was not granted an injunction against harassment. What are my options?
You may be able to reapply for an injunction against harassment if a new incident of abuse or harassment occurs or if a new threat of harassment occurs after you are denied the injunction.
If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to lawyer about the possibility of an appeal. Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer. Go to our Filing an Appeal page for general information on appeals.
What can I do if the harasser violates the order?
To enforce an injunction against harassment, you are the one who would have to report the violations to the police or the court. Be sure to write down the date, time, location and what happened when your injunction was violated.
Remember, even if you think it is a minor violation, you can call the police. It can be a crime and contempt of court if the harasser knowingly violates the injunction in any way. Violating an injunction against harassment is a misdemeanor, which may lead the judge to sentence the harasser to appropriate counseling. Multiple violations may lead to time in jail.1
When you call the police, they will send an officer out to make a report. Show the police your injunction against harassment. If the police witnessed the violation or if the harasser is still in the area, the police may make an arrest. If the harasser has harmed you or your property, you can show the police any physical injuries or property damage. If the defendant is harassing you by telephone, and your injunction protects you from phone contact, you can keep a log of the time and date of the call, and what was said and report that to the police.
The police may make a report, whether or not the harasser is arrested. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number(s) in case you want to follow up on your case.
Do not contact the respondent. Should the respondent violate your injunction, police and judges may take your report less seriously if you have been in touch with him/her.
If no arrest was made, and/or you are uncertain if there was an arrest, you may want to call the Victim/Witness Assistance Division of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office as soon as possible. Tell them you made a police report for a violation of an injunction against harassment.
If an arrest was made, it is not necessary to call the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office because they will automatically become involved. However, if you need information or have questions about what to expect, you contact the Victim/Witness Assistance Division of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office by calling:
- O`ahu (the city and county of Honolulu)- (808) 768-7401 (this is the general prosecutor’s office number)
- Maui - (808) 270-76952
- Hawai`i - Kona: (808) 322-2552; Hilo: (808) 934-3306
- Kaua`i - (808) 241-18883
What happens to my injunction against harassment if I move?
If you move within Hawaii, your injunction will still be valid. You may want to contact your local law enforcement to let them know about the injunction against harassment and that you have moved to a new area. You may also want to call the court where you originally received the injunction to tell them your new address so that they can contact you if necessary.
Additionally, the federal law provides what is called “full faith and credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands.1 Different states have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders. You can find out about your state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program, the clerk of court, or the prosecutor in your area.
If you are moving out of state, you may want to contact a lawyer in that new state who can give you information about how that state treats out-of state orders. For information on lawyers in the area, please see our HI Finding a Lawyer page and select the new state to which you will be moving. If you are moving to a new state, you may also call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111 x 2) for information on enforcing your order there.
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.
1 18 USC § 2265