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What is a Temporary Order?

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A temporary order is one of several types of protection orders, most often used in instances of domestic abuse. A temporary order, also called a temporary restraining order, is put in place by a judge to maintain the status quo until a full hearing can be held. A temporary order is usually valid for only two to three days and not longer than 10 days, according to federal guidelines. It can also be renewed for 10 days if necessary, but a full hearing is generally conducted as soon as possible after the temporary order is granted.

Temporary orders are a strong measure to take because the party whom the court order is issued against is not present at the preliminary hearing to argue on his own behalf. In order to have a temporary order implemented, the complaining witness must show that there is immediate potential for harm. In domestic abuse cases, police reports and notarized witness statements are enough to get a temporary restraining order against the abuser.

After the issuance of a temporary order, both parties will attend a hearing and present evidence. If the presiding judge sides with the complainant at the full hearing, he can issue a full protection order, which requires the defendant to stay away from the complainant’s home and workplace and to refrain from contacting the complainant. If the judge sides with the defendant, then the order is lifted.

Domestic abuse is not the only situation in which a temporary order can be used. The complaining witness must show an immediate potential for harm, but that harm does not have to mean physical violence. It can also mean financial harm.

If a person bought a truck from an auto dealer to use as a work truck, then became entangled in a dispute with the dealer and refused to make payments on the truck, he could file for a temporary order to avoid having his work vehicle repossessed. If he is unable to make a living without the truck, then there is immediate financial harm. If the same dispute were to take place over a regular passenger car, then there is no immediate harm because the car owner has other transportation options available.

Other instances that often involve temporary orders are trademark, copyright and patent infringements. Violating these can also cause immediate financial harm. In any instance in which you think you may need a temporary order, consult an attorney who specializes in your area of need.

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