Remaining the subject of a permanent restraining order poses the potential for unintended consequences. For example, if you seek a new job, your potential employer may discover the outstanding restraining order during a routine background check. Therefore, you may be at a juncture at which you desire to have a permanent restraining order lifted.
Obtain a motion to terminate restraining order form from the court clerk where the restraining order was issued. Court clerks across the country typically maintain a selection of standard form orders for individuals not represented by counsel.
Complete the motion form. Specifically explain why you believe lifting the restraining order is appropriate. For example, if more than a year elapsed since the order was issued initially and the petitioner did not seek an extension, timing alone may be enough to terminate. (Most states permit a termination of a restraining order after a year absent a request for extension by the petitioner.)
Include any other appropriate rationale for terminating the restraining order. Advising the court that you successfully completed an anger management program is an example of such a rationale.
Avoid making the claim that the permanent restraining order is groundless. The fact that the restraining order is permanent means a judge previously considered the underlying merits of the application for a restraining order and fount merit to the request.
File the completed motion form with the court clerk.
Obtain a hearing date on your motion from the clerk of the court or the administrative assistant for the judge assigned your case.
Request that the court clerk or the judge's administrative assistant send a copy of the motion and the hearing notice to the petitioner. Avoid mailing these items yourself to the petitioner unless you obtain specific authorisation from a court official to do so. Mailing court documents might be construed to be a violation of the restraining order.
Attend the hearing and present evidence favourable and supportive of your request. The evidence includes witness testimony and any documents to support your position.
- Consider engaging the services of an attorney to represent you in having a permanent restraining order lifted. Local and state bar associations maintain directories of attorneys in different practice areas. Contact information for these organisations is available through the American Bar Association (see Resources).
- Do not make direct contact with the individual who obtain the restraining order against you. The worst step to take when seeking to have the restraining order set aside is to violate it in the process.