Temporary Restraining Orders For Online Harassment

Signs of TROs to accompany a blog post about temporary restraining orderA temporary restraining order, over a supposed online harassment incident, hamstrung a Hawaiian *Internet activist* named Eric Ryan. In light of the recent headline, we thought we’d take the opportunity to review the basics of acquiring a TRO for online harassment.

What Is A Temporary Restraining Order?

A temporary restraining order – or TRO – is a court order that compels a party to either act or refrain from doing something. Businesses and individuals use TROs for many things, including trade secrets and online harassment.

Temporary restraining orders usually expire within 14 days and can be issued ex parte. In other words, issuers don’t have to alert adversaries of an impending TRO.

What Happens When Someone Violates A TRO?

Preserved in a picture on the Hawaii Reporter’s website is Eric Ryan’s arrest for allegedly defying a temporary restraining order. Dressed in a bright yellow shirt, with the words Citizen Patrol emblazoned across the back, police picked up Ryan on Ewa Beach. Supposedly, he was there to protest Kym Pine – an individual with whom Ryan is allegedly embroiled in a billing scuffle. Pine had previously secured a TRO against Ryan.

In short, Ryan got too close to Pine, so the Hawaii Police Department hopped into action.

And that’s typically what happens when someone violates a restraining order — the police get involved.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Temporary Restraining Order Issued For Online Harassment or Stalking?

TRO’s are meant to protect movants from immediate harm. To that end, judges grant TROs promptly. But, to obtain one, your lawyer will have to prove that:

  1. You’re likely to be granted an injunction against the adversary.
  2. You were irreparably harmed or harassed.
  3. You’ll experience similar harassment if the TRO isn’t granted.
  4. Your TRO will not impede public welfare.

It’s important to understand that temporary restraining orders are not injunctions. They’re stop-gaps, in the form of a court order, which allow relief for (usually) up to two weeks. TROs give parties time to prepare a motion for an injunction. In some cases, a TRO is enough to “scare off” a relatively harmless adversary.

Kelly/Warner Law handles temporary restraining orders for individuals and businesses. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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