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The Utah Judiciary is committed to the open, fair, and efficient administration of justice under the law. Find important information on what to do about your case and where to find help on our Alerts and Information Page due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

El poder judicial de Utah está comprometido a la administración de justicia de una manera abierta, justa y eficiente bajo la ley. En nuestra página Información y alertas encontrará información importante sobre qué hacer en cuanto a su caso y dónde encontrar ayuda debido al impacto del brote de COVID-19.

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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Application for Temporary Restraining Order

Attention! The forms on this page should only be used in extreme emergencies. An extreme emergency is where there is a serious risk to someone's physical safety, or risk of other harm that cannot be undone.

Temporary restraining order

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is a short-term emergency order. To request one, you must already have a case on file with the court, such as a divorce or custody case. This is sometimes called the "underlying case."

A TRO should only be used for extreme circumstances. A TRO is only appropriate where there will be irreparable harm unless the court issues an order. Irreparable harm is harm that cannot be undone.

If the court decides to issue an order, it can do so immediately. The court might not tell the other party in the case about the order.

You can use the forms on this page for any kind of civil case. The papers are filed as a part of your underlying case. You can file the papers to start the court case and request the TRO at the same time.

TROs are governed by Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 65A.

Other options

Often a TRO is not appropriate. If your case involves divorce or child custody, you might have other options.

If you have…

Some options include…

If you have…

not started a court case

and

you believe a child is being harmed

Some options include…

If you have…

filed a divorce or parentage case in district court and you do not yet have a decree

and

you believe a child is being harmed

Some options include…

If you have…

a Utah court order involving divorce or custody

and

the other party is not following the court order (for example, not paying alimony or allowing you to have parent-time)

Some options include…

filing a Motion to Enforce Domestic Order asking the court to enforce its order.

If you have…

a child custody order from another state

and

the other party is not following the court order

Some options include…

register the foreign custody order and filing a Motion to Enforce Domestic Order asking the court to enforce the non-Utah order.

Protective order vs. restraining order

A TRO is not the same as a protective order. Some people say "restraining order" when they mean a court order that protects people in domestic violence or civil stalking cases. If you want a court order to protect you from abuse, please see the web pages on child protective orders, civil stalking injunctions, and protective orders.

What can a temporary restraining order do?

A TRO can be issued immediately. It can order:

  • a landlord to let a tenant back into their apartment if they were illegally locked out
  • someone to stop doing something like destroying someone's property, cutting down trees, or selling property 
  • an award of temporary physical custody of a minor child to a responsible adult.
  • a party to immediately return the minor children to the custody of the other party – this can include a Writ of Assistance directing law enforcement to help a party regain custody of minor children.

Writ of Assistance to Remove Children

If the court issues a TRO that requires a party to immediately return the children to the other party it could issue a Writ of Assistance. A Writ of Assistance to Remove Children is a court order authorizing law enforcement to take physical custody of children. This is only appropriate in extreme emergencies.

The Writ can authorize law enforcement to use force. This can involve breaking down someone's door to enter and using force to physically remove the children.

Security

The judge may require you to deposit money or post a bond with the court. The money or bond is posted to cover costs, attorney fees or damages the other party might have to pay if they can show the TRO should not have been issued.

Requirements for a temporary restraining order

If you want the court to issue a TRO, you must show:

  • there will be irreparable harm if the TRO is not issued – you must explain what the harm is and why it is irreparable,
  • the irreparable harm outweighs any harm that would be caused by issuing the TRO,
  • the TRO would not be against the public interest, and
  • you are very likely to win your underlying case, or the case presents serious issues that should be decided by the court.

How to apply for a TRO

  1. Fill out all of the forms:

    • Application for Temporary Restraining Order
    • Order on Application for Temporary Restraining Order
    • Writ of Assistance to Remove Children (if applicable)

    No matter who is asking for the TRO, whoever is the plaintiff or petitioner in the underlying case is still the plaintiff or petitioner, and whoever is the defendant or respondent in the underlying case is still the defendant or respondent.

  1. Notify the other party that you are applying for a TRO. You must try your best to deliver them a copy of what you are filing.

    If you do not notify the other party you must show the court either:

    • there will be immediate and irreparable harm if you notify the other party, or
    • what efforts you have made to notify the other party.
  1. File the paperwork in same court where the underlying case is filed.
  1. Wait. A judge or commissioner will review the documents the day you file them and decide whether to sign the Order on Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Notice of Hearing. If the judge or commissioner signs the order, it becomes a TRO.

    • If the judge or commissioner signs the order, they will schedule a hearing as soon as possible. The TRO can last no more than 14 days.
    • If ordered by the court, deposit money with the court or post a security bond.
  1. Serve the papers and enforce the writ. Have the Order on Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Notice of Hearing (and Writ of Assistance, if applicable) personally served on the other party by a sheriff, constable or private investigator.

    If the other party is represented by an attorney, or if the order is about children and the children are represented by a Guardian ad Litem, a copy of the documents must be mailed, hand delivered, or emailed to them.

    If the court signed a Writ of Assistance, contact the local police department and make arrangements with them to enforce the writ.

Challenging the TRO

If the other party in your case has requested a TRO against you and you disagree with what it says, you have options. What you do depends on whether the TRO has been issued or not.

  • If the TRO has not been issued yet you can use the Memorandum Opposing Motion available on the Motions web page and file it with the court to oppose the TRO. You must send a copy of the Memorandum Opposing Motion to the other party. You can also try contacting the court handling the case and ask for a telephone conference.
  • If the TRO has already been issued, read the order carefully. The TRO is a court order that must be followed. A hearing will be scheduled no later than 14 days from the day the TRO was issued. If you want to change or terminate the order, you can ask the court for a hearing sooner. You can request a hearing by filing a motion. See our Motions web page for information on motions and forms you can customize to your situation.

    You must give the party who obtained the TRO 48 hours' notice that you are requesting the hearing. You must try your best to deliver them a copy of what you are filing. The court will have a hearing and make a ruling as soon as it reasonably can under the circumstances.

Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 65A(b)(4).

Forms


Required forms for the applicant

  • Application for Temporary Restraining Order - PDF | Word
  • Order on Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Notice of Hearing - PDF | Word

Optional forms for the applicant

  • Writ of Assistance to Remove Children - PDF | Word

Related Information

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 5/7/2020
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