A restraining order is a court order that prohibits contact and/or certain behavior directed to the person needing protection. Restraining orders are different from bail or bond conditions, probation rules, or a 72-hour no contact as condition of arrest order. The following is information on how to obtain different types of Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) that are effective until a court official grants more long term protection called an Injuction. You do NOT need an attorney--Wisconsin law allows you to seek a restraining order without a lawyer's help. Many people feel more comfortable hiring an attorney, especially if there are concurrent criminal or family law cases that stem from the abuse.
Civil Court and Juvenile Court hear requests for restraining orders. The court in which a restraining order is filed depends on whether the abuser (defendant) is a minor or an adult. There are four types of Restraining Orders:
Requested generally if an adult (someone 18 years or older) has intentionally caused you physical pain, injury or illness; has impaired your physical condition; has sexually abused you; or threatened to physically or sexually harm you, you may ask for a domestic abuse restraining order if one of the following describes your relationship to the abuser.
- you (the person needing protection) and the adult (the abuser) are related by blood; or
- you are or have been married to the person who has abused you; or
- you have a child together with the abuser; or
- you have lived with, are living with, or were dating the person who abused you; or
- you are receiving in-home or community care from the person who abused you; or
- you are under the guardianship of the abuser [as defined by Wis. stat. 880.01(3)], or
- you are the guardian of the person being abused by someone meeting the criteria above.
Requested generally if a person attempts, threatens or does strike, shove, kick or otherwise subjects you to physical contact; or repeatedly acts in a harassing or intimidating manner toward you for no legitimate purpose. Commonly requested by victims of stalking.
Individual At Risk (Vulnerable Adult)
Requested generally on behalf of“individuals at risk”, which includes any adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs and who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. People who may seek the temporary restraining order (TRO) include the adult at risk, social service workers, law enforcement personnel, parents, adult siblings, adult children, legal guardians of adults at risk, or county protective service agencies.
Requested generally by parents, step-parents, or legal guardians to protect individuals under the age of 18 from physical injury (other than accidental); sexual intercourse, contact, or exploitation; prostitution,forced viewing of sexual activity, genitals, or pubic area; an individual who caused the child emotional damage for which the child victim's parent, guardian or legal custodian has neglected, refused or been unable for reasons other than poverty to obtain the necessary treatment or to take steps to relieve the symptoms; or threats to do any of the above.