Can a Minor File a Request for a Restraining Order?



Domestic violence can occur to anyone. Perhaps most unfortunately, it can happen to a minor. If a child decides to take legal action against their abuser, they are allowed to under the law. Essentially, anyone can file a domestic violence restraining order regardless of age. This is to ensure that individuals in an abusive situation have it in their power to protect themselves, no matter their legal status.

It should be noted that a minor appearing in a Domestic Violence Prevention Act proceeding can do so without counsel or a guardian if they are above the age of 12. Otherwise, younger children must have a guardian present or have legal counsel to file for an order. A minor who is 12 may choose to move forward without a guardian or counsel. There are also stipulations that protect youngsters who don’t have a responsible adult party to help with legal matters.

The Conditions of a Minor Filing an Order

For a minor to request a domestic violence restraining order, the person they’re issuing it against must have some tie to them. This includes:

  • Parents
  • Significant others
  • Co-parents
  • Cohabitants
  • Another child
  • A blood relative
  • Parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Another member of the household

In most cases, the person seeking the order is the person that experienced the direct brunt of the domestic violence. When that individual is a minor, they can have another parent file these charges on their behalf. Any relative that the child feels comfortable with can seek these charges in court. It can be an aunt, grandparent, or any other family member that regularly interacts with the child.

If the minor doesn’t have any adults that they can trust with this case, it’s best to contact the authorities. When a child doesn’t have any responsible relatives over the age of 18, the state appoints a guardian ad litem that will file the paperwork for the juvenile in question.

Legal Help for Domestic Violence Victims

If the situation is an emergency, the other guardian might have a temporary restraining order issued on behalf of the child without a prior hearing. If you’re an adult looking to file charges against another family member on behalf of someone underage, it is best to get legal help. Sometimes, in cases of abuse, trying to take the child by force can create a dangerous situation. Call the authorities and a lawyer that can help make sure that the child stays safe.

At The Fighter Law Firm, our team of dedicated injunction attorneys strive to represent the best interests of our clients throughout Central FLorida. Contact our firm by calling (407) 574-5075 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

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