Do I need a lawyer for my case?
You are not required to have a lawyer to get a sexual abuse restraining order. However, it can often be beneficial to have a lawyer at future court dates - especially if the abuser is not going to consent to the order being issued against him/her, and the judge must have a hearing (trial). A lawyer can help with presenting evidence, questioning your witnesses, and cross-examining the abuser.
If you do not have the money to pay for a lawyer, you may contact a local legal services organization to see if they can represent you. Another option may be to ask the county attorney’s office for help. Their office may be able to help you with:
- getting the forms;
- filling out the forms and any other court paperwork;
- filing your court forms;
- presenting evidence to the judge;
- enforcing the order; and
- possibly any additional assistance necessary.1
1 IA ST § 236A.5
If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.