File your Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Once you finish filling out your court papers, you need to file them with the court. Filing means turning in your papers to the court for a judge to review. There is no fee to file your restraining order papers. 

How to file papers with the court

  • File (turn in) your papers with the court

    Filing your forms at a courthouse: Not every courthouse accepts restraining order papers. Find the courthouse in your county that will file restraining order papers by going to Find my Court and looking under "Matters Served" and find the nearest courthouse that accepts restraining orders or family cases.

    Picture of courthouse with "Matters served" list

    At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms by giving the original and two copies to the clerk. Your forms will then be reviewed by a judge. The clerk will let you know when to return to pick up your court papers. 

    Filing your forms online: You can file your papers online (called e-filing). Go to your court's website to find out how to e-file. The court will return your forms to you electronically.

    Some courts have a drop box that you can use. A drop box can be located inside or outside the courthouse. If you put your court papers in a drop box make sure include the original plus two copies, and use an envelope or rubber band to keep all your papers together. If you use a drop box, you will still have to return to the courthouse to pick up your court papers. Using a drop box may not be the fastest way to get your papers reviewed by a judge. If you need protection right away, take your forms to a court clerk or file them online.

  • Find out when your papers will be ready for pick up

    The judge may be able to review your request that  same day. If not, you will need to go back to the courthouse  the next day. Ask the clerk when you should return to pick up your court papers.

    The court will return the forms to you electronically. To make sure you know the process, check with the court clerk or self-help center to find out how to get your restraining order papers. 
  • Review your court papers

    Once you have your forms back from the court, read the forms to see what the judge ordered.

    You have a court date. Look at form DV-109 to see when and where your court date (court hearing) is.

    If the judge signed form DV-110, this means you have a temporary restraining order. The orders granted on form DV-110 only last until your court date. You must go to your court date if you want a long-term restraining order. Keep a copy of form DV-110 with you at all times. If you have a phone, you can also use your phone to take a picture of all the pages so you always have proof of it. Having a copy of your restraining order will help you if you need to call the police to report a violation.

    What if the judge only granted some of the orders I asked for?
    Some orders, like child support and spousal support, cannot be granted before the other side has been served (given notice) of the request for support. If you are able to serve the other side before your court date, the judge can grant support orders at your court date. Some orders, like a stay away and move-out order, can be granted now, and the judge decides whether to grant these orders based on what is written on your request (form DV-100).


    If the judge did not grant you a temporary restraining order, the judge can still grant you a restraining order at your court date. If you still want a restraining order, you will need to follow all the steps in the process, including having the other side served. If you no longer want a restraining order, you don't have to go to your court date. You can also cancel your court date. For more information on how to cancel your court date, get free help at your local Self-Help Center or talk to a lawyer.

    What if I'm worried about my safety?
    There are people that can help you come up with a safety plan to keep you safe at home, work, school, other places that you go, and online. To learn more about creating a plan, go to the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE.


Serving your court papers

What's next?

After you get a court date for your restraining order, you must have someone give a copy of your court papers to the person you need protection from (the other side in your case). This is called serving court papers.

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