Seals of the Court of Appeals and Superior Court
District of Columbia Courts

Temporary Restraining Order (Civil)

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is part of a Civil case and lasts approximately 14 days. A judge can order a party to do or not do something for that brief period of time, including staying away from and/or having no contact with you. In a TRO, the judge cannot order a party to go to counseling or drug treatment, pay money, address custody issues, or evict someone.

If you file a TRO Motion on the same day you file your Complaint, the TRO Motion will be handled in JIC. A judge will review your TRO Motion and schedule a hearing within 21 days of filing. The parties may be able to go to early mediation. If you file a TRO Motion on any day after you file your Complaint, the TRO Motion will be handled by the judge permanently assigned to your case.

At the hearing on your TRO Motion, you must show the judge that you provided notice to the other party. If you did not notify the other party, or they do not appear at the hearing, the judge may continue the hearing or deny your Motion. You should come prepared with any evidence or witness testimony that would support your Motion.

If the judge grants a TRO and the other party violates it, you may file a Motion for Civil Contempt with the court.

Click here for the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) form.

Learn more about the Civil Division.


Moultrie Courthouse
500 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room 4103
Fourth floor

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Hours of Operation

8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


All government holidays

Office Number

(202) 879 - 1133