When does a restraining order go into effect?

UPDATED: May 3, 2011

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When does a restraining order go into effect?

My cousin filed a restraining order against her ex. She picked up the paperwork this morning when the temporary order was granted, but her ex hadn’t been served yet. He sent her a text today and she got angry and replied, “Leave me alone”. It turns out her ex hadn’t been served yet. Is she in trouble for returning the text? I heard that the order isn’t in effect until the other party is served. As of an hour ago he’s been served, but he wasn’t at the time she replied to his text.

Asked on May 3, 2011 under Family Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have used your common sense here as it stands to reason that party can not be held accountable in a violation of a restraining order if they do not know that the order exists.  Serving them with the order is how they generally know it exists.  Although she should try and refrain from texting him back - I know how emotional and difficult the situation is to ask that - she should really not worry too much about what happened at this juncture.  However, please ask her to not to have any contact - intentional contact - with him from this point on.  And if he is served and violated the order then she needs to report that asap.  Good luck. 

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