Law 101

Civil Restraining Orders

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is an order by the court prohibiting an action by a party in a lawsuit until the court can make a decision on another request, usually for a preliminary injunction. A TRO is only issued when there is a threat of irreparable harm that will occur if the court doesn’t immediately issue an order prohibiting the action that will cause the harm. An application for a TRO will, if granted, last only until the court makes a decision regarding the matter at a later hearing, where everyone has received notice and has had time to prepare their arguments.

Before requesting a TRO, you must start a lawsuit regarding the underlying problem or conflict. For example, if you have a dispute with your neighbor involving the location of a property line, and ownership of a large tree that is on or near that property line, you might ask the judge for a TRO preventing your neighbor from cutting down the tree before a hearing can be held on the matter. Prior to requesting a TRO, you would need to research and decide upon an appropriate legal theory upon which to sue the defendant. You would need to file a complaint based on that theory, called a “cause of action.”

If you need a domestic violence or civil harassment restraining order, please visit the Protection from Abuse page.

Research Guides

The Law Librarians have created these research guides as an aid for those starting a legal research project. These guides recommend print and electronic resources that will help you find answers to your law-related questions. Many guides provide step-by-step information, as well as sample forms, for common legal procedures.


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