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4 FAQ About Restraining Orders in Hawaii September 15, 2020

Downtown Honolulu, Honolulu
4 FAQ About Restraining Orders in Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

People who have experienced domestic violence often feel vulnerable, particularly when going through a divorce. Fortunately, a temporary restraining order (TRO) can provide legal protection and peace of mind for those hoping to start a new life. Many people are unsure of their rights regarding this measure, so below are answers to some common questions about protective orders.

4 Common Questions About Temporary Restraining Orders

What protections do TROs offer?

A TRO can be tailored to each unique situation, but a judge will often order the other party to cease contact, not enter the home, and cease emotionally or physically abusing members of the household. They may also issue an injunction forbidding the abuser from injuring family pets or intentionally destroying property.

How long is a TRO in effect?

restraining orderLaws governing restraining orders vary from state to state. In Hawaii, a TRO is automatically enforced for 90 days. However, this period can be extended if the judge decides your situation warrants additional protection.

Can I file for a TRO even if the abuser was never arrested on domestic violence charges?

Restraining orders are issued by the family court, so you don’t need to have filed a criminal complaint to get legal protection. But you do need to convince a judge that abuse may have occurred, so be prepared to offer details both in your application and at the initial hearing.

What happens if the other party violates the restraining order?

TROs are court orders, so violating the terms can result in criminal charges. Penalties for a first offense include a mandatory 48-hour jail sentence and fines of up to $500. For a second offense violating the same order, they’ll face a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.


With over 35 years of experience and a team of talented divorce attorneys, Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson AAL LLLC in Honolulu wrote the book on divorce in Hawaii. With more than 35 years of experience, the law firm has handled over 20,000 family law cases. Visit their website to learn how they can help you file for a restraining order, or call (808) 524-4854 to schedule a free initial consultation today.

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