Restraining order

Restraining orders are used to prevent violence and threats. They work by preventing a person being in the proximity of or contact another person.

The rules on restraining orders are contained in chapter 17a of the Criminal Procedure Act (link to

Restraining orders can be applied if there are reasons to believe that a person will

  • commit a criminal act against another person

  • shadow another person

  • restrict another person’s freedom in some other manner

Restraining orders can be a ban preventing access to


  • a given area or place, or

  • shadowing, visiting or in some other way seeking to contact another person. 

The order will apply for a given period of time, max. one year at a time.

The criteria for a restraining order preventing someone from visiting their own home are much stricter, and can only be valid for max. three months at a time. 

No sentence is required for a person to be subject to a restraining order. The police serve restraining orders which apply from the moment the person they apply to is made aware of it.

How the court deals with restraining orders

The police (the prosecuting authority) must bring their decision on issuing a restraining order to the court within five days of notifying the person concerned.

If they decide not to issue an order, the person it was meant to protect can bring the matter to court.

The court will convene a court session attended by the subject of the order and the person it is meant to protect. If neither of them attend, the court will usually consider the restraining order based on the case documents. The person the order is intended to protect usually attends court.

Breach of a restraining order

Breaching a restraining order is a criminal offence, see section 168 of the Penal Code (link to