WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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November 25, 2023

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Once the hearing is finished, before leaving the courthouse there are some things you may want to consider doing.  Do those that you think will help you. 

  • Check the order before leaving the courthouse.  Make sure that nothing is missing and if there is an error, tell the clerk.
  • Make several copies of the order as soon as possible.
  • Always keep a copy with you.
  • Leave copies of the order at your work, your home, the school where your children attend, with the people who care for your children, in your car, with a neighbor, friend, etc.
  • Give a copy to the security guard in the building or complex where you live and/or work, along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy to anyone named in or protected by the order.
  • If the courthouse has not already delivered a copy to the police station nearest your residence, give them one of your copies.
  • If you want and if it is allowed, you may want to change the locks on the doors of your home and change your phone number.

You can make a safety plan.  People can do several things to help protect themselves during abuse, while preparing to leave an abusive relationship and after leaving the relationship.  Many abusers obey protection orders but some do not and it is important to keep doing things to protect yourself.  You can read suggestions about how to stay safe on our Safety Planning page.

What happens if the abuser violates the order?

Intentionally violating a sexual violence protection order can be a misdemeanor crime. Also, the abuser can be charged with  any other crime committed as part of the order violation. A violation can also be considered contempt of court, which can result in jail time, a fine, or both.1

1 8 L.P.R.A. § 1288

I was not granted a protection order. What are my options?

If you did not get a protection order, there are other ways that you can stay safe. It may be a good idea to contact a domestic violence organization in your area to get help, support and legal advice. They can help you to develop a safety plan and connect you with the information that you are looking for. For information and ideas for safety planning, visit the page Staying Safe. You can find contact information for domestic violence organizations at PR Advocates and Shelters.

You may be able to apply again for a protection order if new acts of violence occur after having been denied the order.

If you think that the judge made an error, you can talk to a lawyer about the possibility of filing an appeal. Generally, appeals are complicated and it is very likely that you will need the help of a lawyer. For more information about appeals, go to our Filing Appeals page.