Is it possible to get a restraining order against my neighbor for assaulting my daughter? 39 Answers as of June 20, 2013

My little girl was sexually abused by our next door neighbor's little girl. The police were called and a complaint was filed. DFS talked to my little girl but it did not go any further than that. During the first few weeks the mother would not leave us alone even after I asked her to. Finally she left us alone until just the other day. My husband made the mistake of running inside to get something. She was left alone outside playing. She is nine. The woman came home and said something nasty to her. I confronted her, asking her to not speak to my daughter. She was cruel and mean, even admitted she has tried to communicate with her at school. The school has been working hard to keep the other girl away from my daughter but this worries me. DFS never took the time to find out what happened to the other little girl. The woman lives very close, condos, doors side by side. After I confronted her someone came over to her home and started yelling. So loud it could be heard through the wall. We heard some of what was said. It was treating. My question is, is there any way of getting a restraining order with them right next door? Her word against ours?

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
In Michigan these are called Personal Protection Orders. You go to the Circuit Court and can fill out the paper work yourself. They are made to be able to be gotten without an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/24/2012
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
You can seek a TRO. It would be best to hire an attorney since the rules of evidence apply at a TRO and you want to make sure that you put forward the best case. Since there may also be implications w/ re to CPS and criminal charges, it is best to speak with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 1/24/2012
Attorney at Law | Dorinda Ohnstad
With respect to the girl who victimized your daughter, via the District Attorney you could they could seek a criminal protective order to keep her away from your daughter. However, as to the mother who is not within the jurisdiction of the court because of the criminal complaint you would have to seek a civil restraining order, which under the circumstances would not be difficult to obtain. There is a lot of information available through the California Supreme Court website on how to obtain a civil restraning order, or you can seek the assistance of an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2012
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Yes, you can apply for a restraining order. You will be granted a temporary one and given a court date for a hearing about a month later. If she doesn't show up to contest the order then the judge will automatically grant it to you. If she does show up to contest it then you can have a hearing. It is obviously better if you have an attorney to represent you since it sounds as if it may be your word against hers.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2012
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
The burden of proof for obtaining a restraining order is far lower than necessary to prove guilt in a criminal trial. As a result you will likely prevail in obtaining such an order although your daughter might have to testify which could be difficult for her. Although you could represent yourself and her in such a proceeding, you would need to fill out forms and a declaration about the details. Despite the cost, given the importance of obtaining such an order in your case, you would be best served by retaining an attorney, possibly one specializing in criminal defense who also handles restraining order cases.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The facts will need to be set out in an affidavit which is reviewed by the judge. The judge will decide if the facts support issuing a restraining order.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/20/2012
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    In order to get a restraining order (Order of Protection) you need to talk to the district Attorney's office.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/20/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You could likely be granted a restraining order by the Courts. I am not certain what good it would do as she is a next door neighbor and daily contact appears to be almost inevitable. I would move if I were you. (We have all had a neighbor like this one).
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/20/2012
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton
    The Law Office of Cindy Barton | Cindy Barton
    Yes, you can ask for a Protective Order. Call your local victim's advocate and they will help you file out the papers. I think that it will be a complicated PO to enforce since you live so close to each other. Be sure that the Victim's Advocate understands the physical issues involved in the apartment complex.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/20/2012
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Yes, you could petition the court for a civil protective order. If the neighbor spoke with your child in an effort to get her to recant or to intimidate her from testifying, that in itself is a crime. Report the contact to the Police. If the DA is investigates and charges her you could ask for a criminal protective order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Yes, you can get a restraining order against her. The best thing for you to do is meet with an attorney who can tell you how this process works.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Mark Bruce
    Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
    Yes. That is a civil matter (it surprises me that the DA hasn't filed juvenile petition against the perp but oh well). You can consult a lawyer about this. Bottom line is that "he said, she said" is still evidence. It comes down to who the judge believes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    Attempting to obtain a restraining order is one option. You should also consider practical alternatives. Consider speaking to the police again concerning what happened with the alleged sex abuse case. The neighbor's daughter is considered a juvenile. She would not be treated as an adult. Also, the police might be hesitant to release information having anything to do with a juvenile. Nonetheless, it never hurts to attempt to promote communication. The more that the police are aware of what your neighbor is doing, the better. You may also contact DCFS and see what happened to the complaint. Again, this concerns a juvenile, so they may not release detailed information. Finally, Speak to officials at the school. Tell them that she has attempted contact with your daughter, and you are requesting that she not be allowed to speak to or contact your daughter.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Under the circumstances you can, and probably should, obtain a restraining order on behalf of yourself and your daughter. The proximity of your living quarters would not prevent your getting such an order. The Order itself would be tailored to make it practical to keep separation to the extent possible.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If the case was investigated and the authorities did not take any action they must have determined that there was not enough evidence that a crime was committed. This matter would be handled in Family Court if there was enough evidence to bring juvenile charges. You do not know for sure what happened and the other mother will not appreciate your accusation. You can only get an Order of Protection if a person is charged with a crime and the judge issues some type of Order detailing what contact is allowed. This is complicated when people live in the same neighborhood. The Order will often say that there be no "offensive contact" rather than a complete "stay away" Order. The best way to handle this situation is to retain an attorney to investigate the matter. He can speak to the authorities and persuade them to do further investigation or simply write a letter warning the other family to leave your family alone and refrain from harassment or offensive contact.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    No. You won't get a protective order without a criminal charge.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Yes it is possible to get a restraining order pm a neighbor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    YES. You need to file a Petition for Injunction. Probably should retain counsel if you are not sure how to proceed. Every Clerk's office has an "Injunction Clerk". You should see said "Injunction Clerk" tomorrow.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Yes. You can file for a restraining order in Superior Court. The judge will decide whether you have presented enough evidence to sustain such an order.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    Yes, if the conduct amounts to "stalking."
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    My advice to you is to hire a civil attorney and file a suit against her asking for a restraining order. You could also try contacting the police and filing a report with them. In any case, you will need independent witnesses to substantiate your story, else it can be one person's word against the other. You also have the option of finding a new apartment far away from this neighbor, which may be your only alternative.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You can petition the District Court for an antiharassment order if there is a pattern of conduct. I have no doubt in my mind that the little girl who molested your daughter was molested herself. That's incredibly sad and I would have hoped the police would have done something about this whole mess.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    It depends on what exact actions you define as "sexual assault". If you wish to pursue a restraing order, you should contact the State Attorney's Office.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    It is possible to get a restraining order.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/20/2013
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. These matters can be tricky and need to be presented properly before the court for them to be granted. Speaking generally, restraining orders and PPO's are handled by filing a motion through the local family court in your county. The court clerk's office will have the appropriate forms. People filing these motions need to document all the instances of violent and threatening behavior and attach any proof with their motion (threatening text messages, e-mails, police reports, etc.). They'll need documented instances of violent and threatening behavior with proof and potential witnesses available to testify; preferably at least wo or more instances. These motions may be filed, served, and granted ex-parte and the opposing party has an opportunity to file an answer and request a hearing. Given the potential complexity and explosive nature of your particular situation, I strongly urge you to obtain legal council to assist you with this matter. If you cannot afford legal council, there may be groups in your area such as legal aid that can assist you and provide you with free advice.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You can definitely trespass warn her not to come onto your property. I would contact the officers who investigated the sexual assault or other local officers and have them come out and witness it and put it "on file" with their department. Have you followed up with the police? (If they are both 9 that could be why they are not really doing anything.) If problems continue, you can get a lawyer to write her a "cease and desist" letter (which has no real legal effect but might work to keep her away from your family.) You can also notify the school - if not with the details then at least with sufficient information that it is clear that you do not want any of them around your child. If they make threats against you or anyone in your family, call police. Those are terroristic threats and against the law. I would sell and move.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Yes, you can usually find the forms for protective orders online at your county court website.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. You have a VERY strong basis to seek a restraining order on behalf of your daughter with respect to the neighbor's daughter and the parent herself.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Of course, you can always get a restraining order. The question is more what are the terms of the restraining order recognizing that you reside in the same complex.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/19/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Yes you can - Information about and forms for requesting restraining orders can be found here: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=24
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/19/2012
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