Can I Appeal a Restraining Order?

Restraining (or civil protection) orders are temporary orders issued by judges in order to protect a particular person or entity. If you believe that a person has unnecessarily obtained a restraining order against you, you may be able to appeal (or otherwise fight) the order. Importantly, no matter how frivolous you believe a restraining order may be, make absolutely certain you abide by all its terms. Any violation, however slight, may result in arrest, fines, or even jail time.

Because the chances of success on appeal are always statistically low, it may be advisable to exhaust any alternative options before pursuing an appeal. One such option is a motion for reconsideration. A motion for reconsideration asks the trial court to review and amend its findings and conclusions. This is a good option where there is newly discovered evidence, or where the trial court misapplied existing law.

If a motion for reconsideration is inappropriate or unsuccessful, it may be time to file an appeal. In Wisconsin, for example, a party can file an ‘appeal by right’ asking the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to review the final decision granting the restraining order. Wis. Stat. § 808.03. Importantly, most issues must be preserved before they can be appealed. This means that, at the hearings in the trial court, a party or attorney must raise any objections to potential errors. If you plan to file an appeal of a restraining order, be sure to keep track of applicable deadlines. For example, in Colorado, the appealing party must file his notice of appeal within 14 days of the entry of the restraining ordering in a county civil court.

To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about appealing a restraining order, contact the Alderman law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).