CHECKLIST FOR OBTAINING A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
Harassment or Domestic Abuse
STEP 1: FILLING OUT THE FORMS
Obtain forms from the Portage County Clerk of Courts Office. You should receive the following forms (included in this packet):
READ THE ABOVE FORMS CAREFULLY!
Fill in all the needed information on the forms. You are the Petitioner and the abuser is the Respondent. Be sure to note the addresses and the birth dates of the parties involved.
Your injunction cannot be processed by the Sheriff’s Office if you do not include the full date of birth (month/day/year), full name with middle initial, and the sex of the Respondent. Public records access (located by the Clerk of Courts office at the end of the hall) may contain this information if you do not have it.
Once these forms are filled out, they must be notarized by a notary public. This can be done at the courthouse and there is no charge for this service. Banks may also have a notary public, so you may contact yours regarding their policy/availability. The petition must be notarized. Do not sign the forms until you are in front of the notary public.
Leave the forms that you filled out at the Clerk of Courts office or the Family Court Commissioner’s office for the Family Court Commissioner to review. You will also need to leave a telephone number at which you may be reached. After the Family Court Commissioner reviews the paperwork, he will call you to pick up your forms at the Clerk of Courts office. If the Family Court Commissioner decides to sign the Temporary Restraining Order and Notice of Hearing, he will set a time for the hearing and fill in the date of that hearing on the form. As the Petitioner, if you do not appear at this hearing, the Temporary Restraining Order will be dismissed and an Injunction will not be issued.
STEP 2: MAKE YOUR COPIES
When the Family Court Commissioner has finished signing your documents, you will need to pick up the paperwork in the Clerk of Courts office and make 1 copy of the forms and attachments (except the Civil Process Aid in Service Form and Confidential Address Information).
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: If you do not make the copy, we charge $1.25 per page, otherwise there is a copier in the hallway for $.10 per page.
STEP 3: FILING THE DOCUMENTS
Bring your originals and copy to the Clerk of Courts office to initiate the case.
There is no filing fee for qualifying Petition for a Domestic Abuse Injunction.
The fee for filing a Petition for a Harassment Injunction is $164.50, unless the Court orders the action may be commenced without payment of the filing fee. This will need to be paid at the time of filing the original documents with the Clerk of Courts Office.
If you are requesting to have filing fees waived, you need to request and complete the Petition for Waiver of Filing and Service Fees – Affidavit of Indigency and bring to the Clerk of Courts office or the Family Court Commissioner’s office with your other paperwork where the Family Court Commissioner will review and decide whether or not you are indigent (unable to pay). You will need to leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached. The Family Court Commissioner will call you when that decision has been made and when you may pick up your documents.
If you are required to pay the filing fee, you will be sent to the Sheriff’s Office to pay the $60 service fee. They accept cash or check.
STEP 4: DISTRIBUTION
The Clerk of Courts office will keep the originals and return your copy to you. You may make additional copies after filing to distribute as follows:
- One to keep with you at all times.
- One for your employer and/or school.
The Clerk of Courts office will send the required paperwork to the Sheriff’s Office for service on the Respondent.
STEP 5: PRIOR TO THE HEARING
The Sheriff’s Office will provide the original Certificate of Service to the Clerk of Courts office. If the Sheriff’s Office has any questions or there are problems finding the Respondent, they may call you for additional information.
Register with VINE Protective Order to be notified when the Temporary Restraining Order has been served on the Respondent.
If you need assistance relating to the temporary order, you may have law enforcement assist you in removing personal items from your home on one occasion. Call the Sheriff’s Officeat 715-346-1400 and ask for a supervisor to make an appointment.
STEP 6: THE HEARING
You are required to appear at this hearing in front of the Family Court Commissioner. You must be prepared to get on the stand and testify on your own behalf. You may bring witnesses who have seen you abused or seen evidence of the abuse or have seen you harassed.. You may also bring other documentation to strengthen your case.
If the Family Court Commissioner decides in your favor, he will sign the Injunction and fill in the date through which the injunction will be effective. Immediately after the hearing, the Clerk will make a copy of the signed Injunction for you to keep. You may make additional copies to distribute.
A COPY IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE ON HAND IN CASE YOU NEED TO SHOW THE INJUNCTION TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.