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Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6392
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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Can a person retract a restraining order prior to the hearing

Customer Question

Can a person retract a restraining order prior to the hearing date?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Maverick replied 8 years ago.



A TRO type protective order relating to an allegation of domestic violence can be done without a full court hearing and without the alleged abuser present. Usually that order is in effect for 7 days after service of the order, at which point a full court hearing will be held for a final protective order. In MD, the judge may extend the temporary order as needed, but not to more than 30 days.


At the full court hearing, the court will decide whether to make the temporary order into a final protective order. This is where the both of you tell your sides of the story to a judge. If your wife does not go to the hearing, the temporary order will expire.


Once a temporary restraining order has been put in place, only a judge can cancel the order. The "victim" must return to court and withdraw the restraining order. The victim will be interviewed to make sure that he/she is not being forced to withdraw the complaint. The victim will then go into court where she can explain her decision to the judge. If the judge is satisfied that the victim is withdrawing the complaint without fear or threats from the abuser, the court can dismiss the complaint. The victim is then responsible to bring a copy of the dismissal order to the local police department.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi Maverick,


Thank you for answering my question. I am not sure that I completely understood your answer.


"Once a temporart restraining order....only a judge can cancel the order. The "victim" must return to court and withdraw the restraining order."


Does this occur during the hearing? Or could she go now, as in today, and ask for it to be withdrawn, prior to the hearing?


And is this still going to show up on my background check? I am seeking an international job as a k-12 teacher...If they see alleged incidents of abuse, this could be very damaging, as the screening process for applicants can be quite thorough. In addition, I spent two years on a Dept of Defense project, and plan on taking consulting jobs in the future that involve clearance, and such. Something like this is very detrimental to my ability to seek employment within my field....WHAT can I do as recourse to her actions? She says she did not mean to cause this trouble, now...but she had placed the restraining order so that it was ALSO applicable to my children and really painted me out as as a threat with some of the false accusations she made.


What can I do to pursue damages that could result from this?


I realize I am asking for detail, and I can add this as a new question if you need me to, or pay you more for your answer if you tell me I believe you seem dedicated to help.

Expert:  Maverick replied 8 years ago.

She can go now and ask for it to be withdrawn. The tough part is going to be whether a judge would be willing to see her today or whether the judge will just wait for her to annouce a withdrawal at the hearing.


At some point in the future, you may want to go to some online background check sites and see if the TRO shows up in a background check of yourself. This one allows for a personal pre-employment background check:


However, please know that a TRO is a civil petition and so it should not show up on a criminal record, so long as you do not violate it. Also, since a TRO can be obtained ex-parte based on mere allegations, it would be unreasonable for anyone to rely on it to deny you employment.


There was no due process when the order was issued. The due process occurs at the court hearing and you may want to have a lawyer present to make sure that it gets defeated from being a final protective order which could be damaging to your career/record.


Getting things in to evidence and keeping them out of evidence is why I recommend that you retain a lawyer because you can lose a case on procedure even if substantively the facts are in your favor.


See the bill that is being sponsered in MD to allow the expungement of domestic violence TRO from your civil record:


I think a similar bill proposed by the House was defeated in March.


You may want to have your attorney request that the court issue a specific order to have the TRO expunged from your record based on the Senate bill that is being contemplated.


If you have the time, go toward the bottom of this link and read about how to attack a false TRO:












Expert:  Maverick replied 8 years ago.

See answer above. Also if you have monetary damages or other damages from a false affidavit signed in order to obtain the TRO, you may be able to pursue a civil action for malicious prosecution.