To get a restraining order, do you have to have been harassed twice in the last 12 months?

Question Details: I have been reading about restraining orders on the Ministry of Justice website ( and I want to apply for one. It says you can get one if you have been harassed twice in 12 months. What I want to know is whether this means the last 12 months or any 12 months. The person who was harassing me hasn't done anything since just over a year ago, but I suspect she is going to start again so I want to apply for a restraining order now if I can.

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Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

No, you do not have to have been harassed twice in the last 12 months to apply for a restraining order. The Harassment Act says that you have to have been harassed on at least two occasions within a period of 12 months. So it can be any 12 month period, not just the last 12 months. If the person harassed you on at least two separate occasions just over a year ago, and those occasions were within a 12 month period, you can apply for a restraining order.

For information on restraining orders, take a look at this link: It contains information like who you can make a restraining order against. The website explains that you will need to show the court that it is more likely than not that you have been harassed, and that you need a restraining order for your protection.

Also, look at this link for specific details on how to apply for a restraining order.

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