Private Investigations and Personal Security/restraining order


QUESTION: If I live in Iowa and my boyfriends mother want to put a restraining order against me so I'm unable to contact him in any way, can she?  Even if my boyfriend and I don't agree and we have both done nothing wrong?

ANSWER: Regardless of where you live, a temporary restraining order will generally be granted prior to a hearing on the matter, sometimes called an Order to Show Cause.

Generally speaking, unless your boyfriend is a minor, a third party (his mother) can't seek a restraining order against anyone. The restraining order has to be sought by the person who is asking for the protection for themselves, i.e. your boyfriend.

Regardless, there has to be sufficient reason for the court to issue a restraining order directing you to stay away from or have no contact with your boyfriend.

So there are two steps in this process; the first step is a "temporary restraining order" which is an order given PRIOR to a court hearing. These orders are generally granted but they are for a limited time and there has to be a court hearing for these orders to be made permanent. At the court hearing, the person seeking the order (your boyfriend's mother) has to show evidence of harm or some other reason why the order should be made permanent.

If you can tell me a little bit more about your situation, I can give you a clearer answer about whether or not an order might be granted.

If any of this isn't clear, please write me back and I'll try to make it more understandable.

thanks and best of luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well my boyfriend and I are both under 18 but her only reason for getting this restraining order is that she wants him to become a better person and she thinks that by stopping all contact between us that he will.  I have not put him through any harm and have only been there to help him, so what is the worst she could do?

She does have the legal right to go to court on his behalf, however, there does have to be a sufficient showing to the court that there is a legal basis to grant the order. It has to be more than just her belief that he will be a " better person" for the court to grant the order.

You won't know the content of her issues until she files the affidavit in support of the Order to Show Cause.

Good luck!

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Nichols (Nic) J. Smith


I can answer almost any question with regards to the individual state laws concerning private investigators; best practices and procedures used in private investigations;how to determine if the agency or investigator you are contemplating using is sufficiently qualified to do the work and if an investigation was conducted in accordance with the standards of practice and care used in the professional investigative industry. I can also direct you with regards to doing your own research in certain situations, such as finding someone who owes you money. I can steer you through the database "minefield" with regards to which databases contain useful information and which don't. I can also advise regarding the kind of information that you can legally obtain and what's not legal.


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Life Fellow- American College of Forensic Examiners

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Morgan Lewis and Brockius (Int'l Law firm) Sedgwick, Detert (Int'l Law Firm) Bingham McCutheon (Int'l Law Firm

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