Is a restraining order the best choice for the situation?

Before applying for a restraining order, please read this page to decide if it is the best choice.

Have there been multiple incidents of physical or sexual abuse (or a single incident of abuse resulting in serious injury)?

Was the last incident of physical or sexual abuse within the past 30 days?

Both questions must be answered “YES” if the request for a restraining order is likely to be approved. Call the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children at 504-837-5400 to discuss options.

In order to approve a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO), the judge must hear the following:

The victim must be in immediate danger of physical or sexual abuse. This danger is established by the facts concerning past abuse. If there has been no physical or sexual abuse within the past 30 days, the judge will probably not consider the victim to be in immediate danger. The 30 days is a general rule- exceptions can be made if the situation warrants a delay in filing.


There must be a reasonable fear for the safety of the victim and/ or your children.

*** The case will be set for a hearing, usually 2-3 weeks after it is filed. There will be a hearing whether or not the judge approves the request for a TRO. The abuser will be present at the hearing.  Both the victim and the abuser will be allowed to testify, and the judge will determine if a Protective Order should be issued.

  • Restraining orders are not appropriate for emotional/ verbal abuse, property matters, or custody disputes, although these issues can be considered along with physical or sexual abuse. 
  • A restraining order is only one option in forming a safety plan, and is not always the best choice. Please consider the situation carefully before deciding to file. 
  • Please remember that a restraining order is a serious legal document and should not be used for retaliation or anger if there is no immediate danger.    

For help in making the right choice about restraining orders, please call the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children at 837-5400 to speak with an advocate.