How to File for a Temporary Restraining Order in DC

Need to File a Temporary Restraining Order in the District of Columbia?

In the District of Columbia, you file a Petition for a Restraining Order at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Civil Actions Branch, 500 Indiana Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 2001, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you proceed at this point Pro-Se (without representation of counsel) you would complete a Motion Form (available at the Civil Actions Branch Office) for a “Temporary Restraining Order”.

Scheduling Your Temporary Restraining Order Hearing

Upon filing of your motion, the Civil Actions Branch will provide you or your attorney with a Summons and Notice of Hearing (with a specific date and time) that must then be served upon the Defendant. This may be served by anyone over 18 years of age, except you, because you are a party to the action.

The court will set a hearing on your motion for a TRO at a specific date and time. Even if you request an emergency hearing on the same date that you file your Motion for TRO or shortly thereafter, the court will most likely not grant the hearing at the time requested unless (1) you have provided the Defendant notice of such hearing (that the court finds satisfactory), (2) the Defendant appears at court for the hearing and (3) the Defendant consents to the hearing.