File your Petition for Gun Violence Restraining Order

Once you finish filling out your court papers, you need to file them with the court. Filing means turning in your papers to the court for a judge to review.

How to file papers with the court

  • File (turn in) your papers with the court

    Filing your forms at a courthouse: Not every courthouse accepts gun violence restraining order papers. Find the courthouse in your county that will file restraining order papers by going to Find my Court and checking the court's website. You can also contact your nearest Self-Help Center for guidance on where to file.

    At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms by giving the original and two copies to the clerk. Your forms will then be reviewed by a judge. The clerk will let you know when to return to pick up your court papers. 

    Filing your forms online: You can file your papers online (called e-filing). Go to your court's website to find out how to e-file. The court will return your forms to you electronically.


    illustration of documents being placed in a "drop box"

    Some courts have a drop box that you can use. A drop box can be located inside or outside the courthouse. If you put your court papers in a drop box make sure include the original plus two copies, and use an envelope or rubber band to keep all your papers together. If you use a drop box, you will still have to return to the courthouse to pick up your court papers. Using a drop box may not be the fastest way to get your papers reviewed by a judge. If you need protection right away, take your forms to a court clerk or file them online. 

  • Find out when your papers will be ready to pick up (if you filed at the courthouse)

    If you asked for a temporary restraining order and filed your papers at the courthouse, ask the clerk when you should return to pick up your court papers. The judge may not be able to review your request that same day you will need to return to the courthouse the next day.

    If you filed your papers online, the forms will be returned to you electronically.

Pick up your court papers from clerk

What's next

Once you’ve filed your request for a restraining order, the next step is to pick up your court papers from the clerk after a judge has reviewed them.

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