I was not granted an order for protection. What are my options?
Orders for protection and TROs are generally not granted for two reasons: 1) either your case does not meet the legal requirements; or 2) your petition was not detailed enough. If your petition is not detailed enough, there may not be enough evidence for the judge to grant you the TRO. An advocate or lawyer can help you fill out the petition to prevent this from happening.
If you were not granted an order for protection because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify as a “family or household member,” you may be able to seek protection through an injunction against harassment from the district court. Please see our Injunctions Against Harassment (District Court) page for more information. You may also be able to reapply for an order for protection if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order.
If you are not granted an order for protection, there are still some things you can do to try to stay safe. It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence resource centers in your area to get help, support, and advice on how to stay safe. They can help you develop a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need. For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Tips page. You will find a list of Hawaii resources on our Places that Help page.
If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal. Generally, appeals are complicated and you may need the help of a lawyer. See our Filing an Appeal page for general information on appeals.
Note: If the court denies a petition for a temporary, final, or extended order, the respondent can ask the judge to order that the petition, which has the allegations of abuse, not be available to the public.1
1 HRS §§ 586-4(g); 586-5.5(c)