A sworn petition must allege the existence of domestic violence, and must include the specific facts and circumstances to support the allegations. Any family or household member who is the victim of any act of domestic violence, or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence, can file a petition seeking a restraining order.
Domestic violence includes assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.
In determining whether a person has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court must consider and evaluate all relevant factors alleged in the petition, including, but not limited to:
- The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking and physical abuse;
- Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members of the petitioner;
- Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children;
- Whether the respondent has intentionally injured a family pet;
- Whether the respondent has used or has threaten to use against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives;
- Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling the police;
- Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence;
- The existence of an order of protection from another state;
- Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property including telephone, communications equipment, clothing or other items belonging to the petitioner.