Organize what you need to bring
Copies of court papers. Take copies of all your papers to your court hearing, including a copy of your Proof of Service.
Copies of any evidence. If the restrained person has violated the restraining order, bring any evidence you have. For example, if you have pictures, text messages, or emails, you will need to print them out and make 3 copies of each piece of evidence. One copy is for you, one is for the judge, and one is for the other side.
If you have recordings (video or audio), check in with your local Self-Help Center before your court date. Sometimes judges may require a transcript for a recording. A transcript is a written version of the recording that shows exactly what was said.
Notes of what you plan to say. It can help to plan out and make notes about what you want to say to the judge. Read over the court papers in your case and write out anything else you want the judge to know. You can read from your notes in court if you need to.
Bring a support person, if you want one. Your support person can sit next to you when you present your case. But, your support person cannot speak for you.
Remote hearing preparation, if needed
If you know you will be attending your hearing remotely, by phone or by video:
- Follow the instructions you received from your court.
- If you plan to share evidence, like photographs, audio, or video, follow any instructions the court has on how to do that including how to send the court and other side a copy.
- Review the remote court hearing section for more general tips about how to prepare.
If you would like to have a remote hearing, contact the court to find out if it is an option in your case.
Ask for court services if needed
How to ask for an interpreter. If you don't speak or understand English very well, you can ask for a free interpreter for your court date.
How to ask for an accommodation for a disability. If you have a disability or limitation and need an accommodation while in court, you can ask the court for an accommodation.
If the judge renewed the restraining order, you will need to have a copy served on the restrained person, even if they were in court.