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Legal Information: Rhode Island

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 30, 2023

I was denied a restraining order at the hearing. What are my options?

If you are not granted a restraining order, there are still some things you can do 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 Planning page. You will find a list of Rhode Island resources on our RI State Resources page.

If you were not granted a family or district court restraining order because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify, you may be able to seek protection through a criminal no-contact order (if you report the crime to the police and s/he is arrested) or through your a workplace restraining order. You will find more information about this on our What if I don’t qualify for a restraining order? page. You may also be able to reapply for a restraining order if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order.

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 will most likely need the help of a lawyer. You can read more about appeals on our Filing an Appeal page.