What is a Sexual Assault Restraining Order?
Sexual Assault Restraining Orders are documents filed with the court system that, if granted, state that your abuser cannot contact you or be near you. Sexual Assault Restraining Orders do NOT mean that your abuser will be criminally charged, or that he/she will be immediately placed under arrest. He/she will not be arrested unless the order is violated after it has been served.
Who Can Request a Sexual Assault Restraining Order?
According to the North Dakota Supreme Court website, any adult person that is a victim of sexual assault; or the parent, step-parent, or guardian of a minor child (under 18 years of age) who the parent, step-parent or guardian reasonably believes is a victim of sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Restraining Order Process
The victim (known as the "Petitioner") completes the petition for the Sexual Assault Restraining Order and files it with the court. An advocate at DVAC can help you with this. If the court finds that the petition alleges reasonable grounds to believe the sexual assault was committed by the Respondent, they can issue a Temporary Sexual Assault Restraining Order.
A court hearing will be scheduled no later than 14 days after the temporary order is issued. This hearing is held to determine whether or not the court will extend the Sexual Assault Restraining Order. This gives both the Petitioner and the Respondent a chance to say why the order should or should not be extended. You can request that a DVAC advocate be present with you at this hearing for support. However, please keep in mind that we are not lawyers. If you wish to have a lawyer present, you must arrange this yourself.