A restraining order is a court order that protects a person from someone that has caused, or potentially can cause harm.

Every state in the US has its own restraining order laws addressing domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, harassment, and in some states, stalking.

In most cases, anyone is able to apply for a restraining order. In situations involving minors, a parent, stepparent, or guardian is able to file on their behalf as well.

After a restraining order is issued, the respondent is required to stay away from the petitioner, avoid any contact, and refrain from any abusive acts that have occurred previously.

Types of Restraining Orders in Wisconsin 

In Wisconsin, there are three types of restraining orders that are used for different situations. 

1. 72-hour no contact order

This type of restraining order is taken out immediately following a domestic abuse arrest to protect the victim.

2. Temporary restraining order (TRO)

This is a step up from the 72 hour no contact order as it provides victims with protection for up to 90 days or until the court hearing occurs to put the more permanent injunction in place. When the TRO is served to the offender, they are also informed of the court hearing to come. 

3. Injunction

This is the highest level of protection provided in Wisconsin. Injunctions last for 2 years and are only given after a court hearing. 

These types of restraining orders can be requested for victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, and individual otherwise at risk, elder abuse, or harassment.

It is up to the courts to determine the type of order suited for each situation as each case can be slightly or very different. In all cases, the court will notify the offender of the protection order.

How Are Restraining Orders Filed?

If a person feels they're being harassed, stalked, or a victim of domestic violence, they can find the documents either online here or at their local clerk of courts office.

Once the papers are filled out, they are to be returned to the office for filing with the clerk of courts office. From there, the courts will determine if a restraining order needs to be issued or not. In some cases, like a domestic violence case that results in an arrest, a 72 hour no contact order is automatically issued by the courts. 

What Happens if an Order of Protection is Violated

Once a judge approves an order of protection to be issued, the person that the order is against will receive a notice explaining three things:

  1. What the order means
  2. What they need to do
  3. Any impending court dates

While judges and the court systems try to ensure restraining orders are issued only in necessary situations, it is possible that it could have been issued in error.

No matter the circumstances, the person the order is against should follow the instructions of the courts to avoid consequences. The court system of Wisconsin takes restraining orders very seriously and it is not something to be taken lightly or ignored.

What Are The Penalties of Violating a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

Penalties for violating an order of protection can vary from case to case and can result in jail time for the violator.

In Wisconsin, violators of protection orders issued in domestic violence cases can face up to 9 months in jail and have to pay a $1000 fine.

If a person has a restraining order filed against them that they believe is in error, it is highly recommended that they work through the courts and the legal system to rectify the issue. 

What if The Order Was Filed in Error or a Change is Needed?

If a petitioner wants to drop a restraining order, they must write a letter to the courts with such a request and the judge will either decide to have a hearing in regards to the request or grant the request and notify both parties.

If a person would like to appeal a restraining order against them, or a denial of a request for a restraining order, they can file a motion for reconsideration requesting a circuit court look at new findings or evidence. 

What Should I Do If I Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

If you've been charged with violating a restraining order in Wisconsin, it's crucially important to contact an experienced Madison criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Click here for a free consultation with Madison criminal defense attorney Pat Stangl today.