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‘Complex process:’ Sojourner helps with filing domestic violence restraining orders online

Sojourner Family Peace Center

MILWAUKEE — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials with Milwaukee’s Sojourner Family Peace Center are helping individuals file temporary restraining orders electronically.

Sojourner officials outlined the process on their website — and also offered information on contacting the police (you should always dial 911 for an emergency), finding an attorney, finding help with court cases, and learning more about crime victims’ rights.

Below is some information from Sojourner’s website on getting started filing a temporary restraining order online:

For assistance filing a restraining order, call Sojourner at 414-278-5079. Leave a message that includes your full name and a safe call-back number. An advocate will call back to assist you with filing a TRO online between the hours of 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday. The temporary restraining order documents will NOT be effective until reviewed and approved by a court commissioner.

If you already have filed a restraining order and have an upcoming hearing, report to the Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 712 on the 7th Floor, at your scheduled time. (Refer to the information on the temporary restraining order paperwork received when you filed.)

For more information about the hearing and how to prepare, call Sojourner at 414-278-5079. Leave a message that includes your full name and a safe call-back number. An Advocate will call back between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday to answer your questions about the hearing. Advocates will be on the phone during the hearing to support you and will talk with you after the hearing. If you do not appear to the hearing, the order will be dismissed.

“For many people, initiating a court order can be a complex, confusing process,” said Carmen Pitre, President and CEO of Sojourner in a news release. “Filing a restraining order can be especially challenging for survivors of domestic violence who may feel intimidated or frightened for their safety. It’s important that survivors connect with us so we can help them understand unfamiliar terminology, navigate the legal process and discuss safety planning.”

The release noted in 2019, Sojourner’s staff helped 4,380 people seeking restraining orders with advocacy and support.

According to its website, the Sojourner Family Peace Center is the largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin, serving over 11,800 clients each year.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Sojourner Family Peace Center.

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