How To Get A Restraining Order In South Africa
In South Africa, a restraining order is a legal document that prevents an individual from contacting or coming near another person. This court order provides protection to victims of various forms of abuse, harassment, and threats. If you're in a threatening situation, you can take action by obtaining a restraining order. Here's everything you need to know about how to get a restraining order in South Africa.
Types of Restraining Orders
In South Africa, there are different types of restraining orders, and each serves a particular purpose. The most common types include:
Domestic Violence Protection Order
This type of order is issued to protect individuals who are in a close relationship with the abuser, and the perpetrator is a family member or household member. It's used to protect individuals from physical or emotional abuse.
Harassment Protection Order
This order is used to protect individuals from stalking, intimidation, or any form of unwanted communication.
Occupational Violence Protection Order
This type of protection order is issued to safeguard individuals who have been threatened or suffered harm as a result of their occupation.
How to Get a Restraining Order
To get a restraining order, the person seeking the order, also known as the "applicant," must visit a magistrate's court. The applicant may request a protection order application form or complete it online. The applicant will need to provide personal details, such as their full name and address, as well as the full name and address of the person who has threatened or harmed them.
In addition to filling out the protection order application form, the applicant may be required to provide supporting documentation proving that abuse or harassment has taken place. This documentation may include police reports, medical records, or sworn affidavits. Once the application is complete, the applicant submits the form and the supporting documentation to the court.
A magistrate will review the application and determine if the order is justified. If the magistrate concludes that the applicant requires protection, the court will issue a temporary protection order. The order will be served to the individual who has threatened or harmed the applicant within a specific time period.
What to Do After a Restraining Order is Issued
After obtaining a restraining order, it's essential to take specific steps to ensure that the order is enforced. These steps may include:
- Informing your employer, family, and friends about the restraining order
- Providing a copy of the order to the police department nearest to your residence
- Keeping a copy of the order with you at all times
- Contacting the police immediately if the person who has threatened or harmed you violates the order
Obtaining a restraining order can be a crucial step in safeguarding yourself against abuse, harassment, or threats. If you're unsure if you require a restraining order or have questions about the application process, it's essential to seek legal advice.