Restraining Order Background Check Search (5 Reasons They Show Up)

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Background Checks | May 4, 2022

Restraining Order Background Check

Background check to search for restraining orders, criminal charges, convictions, and other active protection orders.
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With a restraining order, background check reports may or may not include them, leading many people to wonder, “does a restraining order go on your record?” The key is knowing why a restraining order may appear on a background check, how to find out if it is showing up, and what can be done about it.

In fact, there are five reasons a restraining order may show up on a background check. Knowing and understanding these reasons can make it easier to search the right databases when doing a background check on yourself to find them.

The following guide explains when a restraining or protective order will show up, and how to search to make sure by searching criminal records, right now.

Does A Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check?

There are different reasons why a restraining order may appear on a background check.

Screenshot of US marshals service website, explaining the service of process for a injunction or temporary restraining order, which answers does a temporary restraining order show up on a background check.

 

Even if the restraining order is not the main search result in the background check, it can still show up as the outcome of a case or pending charges. The following reasons are the most common:

Reason #1. Restraining Orders are Public Record

Like other court documents, restraining orders are part of the public record, which means that they can show up when someone searches criminal history for an individual. Some states suppress certain public records, but in general, the Freedom of Information Act, combined with Victim’s Rights networks make these type of records available to the public.

Both state and federal court search platforms contain criminal information and court orders. So with a restraining order, background check reports will typically reveal them to potential landlords, employers, and other application processes.1

Reason #2. Conviction or Case Outcome (Disposition)

Background checks reveal criminal history, and a restraining order may show up if the outcome of a case resulted in the order being issued by the court, as the case disposition.

For example, when conducting a federal warrant search, someone may see if a restraining order was issued for a alleged crime, connected to the person named in the warrant. https://backgroundcheckrepair.org/police-clearance-certificate-usa/

Reason #3: Military Or Security Clearance Checks

If a person is applying for a job that requires a background check for security clearance, like what’s included on a government background check for a federal job, or a military profession, the criminal history report will include any restraining order in the present or past.2

These types of background checks also reveal someone’s previous jobs during employment history search processes, and even sealed records.

Reason #4: Protective Order vs. Restraining Order

A protective order can be reported differently than a restraining order. Background check results often include them, however, because they are typically issued along with criminal charges. Protective orders are often used in conjunction with restraining orders because they can be filed very quickly, in cases where domestic violence is an immediate threat.

The main difference is the time frame involved and the nature of the court order. While a protective order can be issued without the subject being present (and the filing is usually heard by a judge within two weeks), a restraining order is often the outcome of a protective order hearing.

As such, it will appear on a background check.

Reason #5: Restraining Order Violation

If the restraining order itself isn’t present on the background check (not usual), but the person violates the order, that criminal violation will show up on a background check, and the original restraining order will accompany it.

The restraining order will also show up in tandem with the felony or misdemeanor charge at the root of the issue.3

Restraining Order: Background Check Laws by State (Restraining Order on Background Check)

Each state has specific laws concerning what records can appear on a background check. The following table outlines the procedure for each state, with a link to the criminal justice division that performs background checks, or to the statute and process involving restraining orders and protection orders.

Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background CheckYes/No
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check in AlabamaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check AlaskaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check ArizonaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check ArkansasYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check CaliforniaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check ColoradoYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check ConnecticutYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check DelawareYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check FloridaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check GeorgiaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check HawaiiYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check IdahoYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check IllinoisYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check IndianaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check IowaNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check KansasYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check KentuckyYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check LouisianaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MaineYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MarylandYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MassachusettsYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MichiganYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MinnesotaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MissouriYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check MontanaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check NebraskaNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check NevadaNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check New HampshireYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check New MexicoYes (permanent order) 
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check New YorkNo (issued in family court) 4
Yes (criminal case)
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check North CarolinaNo 5
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check North DakotaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check OhioNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check PennsylvaniaNo 6
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check Rhode IslandYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check South CarolinaNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check South DakotaYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check TennesseeYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check TexasYes – 2 years
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check UtahNo (civil)
Yes (violating protective order)
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check VermontYes 7
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check VirginiaNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check WashingtonYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check West VirginiaNo
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check WisconsinYes
Does A Restraining Order Go On Your Background Check WyomingYes

Types of Restraining Order Cases (Will A Restraining Order Show On A Background Check)

There are different ways restraining orders are issued, which can influence which ones are considered public records, and therefore, will appear on a background check.

For example, sometimes a temporary protective order (usually the first step in getting a restraining order) can be sealed by a judge if children are involved, or for some other reason. These are rare and are usually done to ensure a victim’s privacy or additional safety.

Screenshot of the Texas Advocacy Project explaining how long a protective order is in place for people who wonder does a temporary restraining order show up on a background check

Likewise, a temporary restraining order or an emergency protective order will generally not show up on a background check. The disposition of the hearing determines whether to make the order permanent for a specific length of time, or indefinitely. Once that occurs, it becomes public record.

Will A Domestic Violence Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check?

A domestic violence restraining order will not show on a criminal record. However, a person can be charged with a criminal offense if they do not obey the conditions set forth in the restraining order.

The criminal charge will appear, and that means with the restraining order, background checks will report it as part of the criminal record.

Will An Emergency Protective Order Show Up On A Background Check?

An emergency protective order will show on a background check, even after it is dismissed, once the hearing has determined its validity.8

Will A Temporary Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check?

A temporary restraining order will sometimes appear on a background check, even if it was in the past.

Screenshot of New Mexico courts process for domestic violence, explaining how a protection order words and if it's criminal, will a restraining order show on a background check.

However, if the temporary restraining order was limited to a civil matter and did not contain any criminal charges, it may not show on a background check.

Will A Permanent Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check

A permanent restraining order will show up on a background check.9

How to Get a Restraining Order Off Your Record

Restraining orders can mar someone’s record, preventing them from getting a job, passing a background check, or winning their case in civil or criminal court. In order to get a restraining order removed from a personal record, individuals can perform specific steps. However, some actions can have the opposite impact, including:

Related Reading: How Do I Know if I Passed My Background Check?

  • If a person questions the validity of issuing the order, this can sometimes lead to unsafe and illegal situations.
  • If a person tries to speak to the person who ordered the restraining order, this can cause bigger problems for both parties.
  • If a person violates the restraining order, this can change the charges from civil to criminal.

Instead of trying to take matters into their own hands, individuals should seek counsel and learn how to clear my background check. Depending on the circumstances, legal counsel can submit a Motion to Modify Conditions or a Motion to Lift Restraining Order.

If the victim agrees to one of the motions filed, the restraining order can be removed. However, if the person does not agree to the motions, a hearing must take place so the judge can make their final decision regarding the status of the order.

Also, when wondering “if charges are dismissed, is it still on your record?” With a restraining order, background check reports still include dismissed charges, unless otherwise forbidden by state law.

Essentially, with any protection or restraining order, background check results will show it because it’s a public record that was issued by the courts.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Impact of a Restraining Order, Background Check

Does A Temporary Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check? (Does Restraining Order Show up on Background Check Employment Reports?)

In most cases, it doesn’t matter if the restraining order is a temporary or permanent order. Regardless of when the order was issued, a restraining order will remain in the court records.

A non-criminal restraining order will not appear on an employment background check, but certain civil orders will show in more comprehensive background checks, such as level 2 background checks, level 3 background checks, and FBI background checks.

Is Restraining Order A Criminal Record?

A restraining order does not appear on a criminal record unless the person has violated the order (this is especially true with recent arrests).

The restraining order itself is a civil matter of the court and will not appear on a permanent background check. However, if the person in question has violated the restraining order, it will appear on the background check and the crime that was committed.10

Do Restraining Orders Show On DBS?

A DBS check is a criminal record check carried out in the UK. The result will depend on oin the type of check carried out, basic, standard, or enhanced.

Does A Temporary Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check In California?

A temporary restraining order will not appear on a background check in California since it does not go into the CLETS database. Furthermore, a temporary restraining order will not influence other governmental decisions, such as the ability to possess and legally purchase a firearm.12

Does A No Contact Order Show Up On A Background Check?

A no-contact order is usually a civil order, meaning it will not appear on a criminal background check conducted in any state.

Do Civil Restraining Orders Show Up On Background Checks? (Will a Restraining Order Show up on a Background Check?)

If a restraining order is a civil matter, it will typically not appear on a background check. However, if a person violates a civil restraining order, this will show up on a background check as a criminal conviction.

Does a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Show Up On A Background Check?

A domestic violence restraining order shows on a background check since it is criminal in nature. This type of restraining order is visible to law enforcement, court clerks, and background checks.

How Long Does A Restraining Order Stay On Your Record?

A restraining order will stay on a person’s record for 3-5 years, depending on the type of order and any violations.13

Do Expired Restraining Orders Show Up On Background Checks?

Expired restraining orders usually do not appear on background checks if the person has not violated their order and it has expired.

What the Impact of Expired Restraining Order Gun Background Check?

With a gun background check, a court ordered restraining order will usually prohibit the purchase of a firearm. However, various state laws impact whether an expired order would impact the outcome of the check.

How Long can a Restraining Order Show Up?

Will a felony show up on a background check after 10 years? If the restraining order was connected to a felony conviction, certain checks will show it, even after 10 years, but most background checks will not show them past seven years, unless they are active.


References

1Baxter Harder. (2020). Does a Restraining Order Appear on a Background Check? Retrieved from <https://www.baxterharder.com/blog/2020/september/does-a-restraining-order-appear-on-a-background-/>

2Mkhitarian, J. (2019). Do Restraining Orders Show up on Background Checks? New Mexico Criminal Law Offices. Retrieved from <https://newmexicocriminallaw.com/do-restraining-orders-show-up-on-background-checks/#:~:text=If%20you%20have%20had%20a,on%20a%20criminal%20background%20check.>

3Rodriguez, A. (2020). Is a Restraining Order Public Record, Can it be Viewed by Anyone? The Rodriguez Law Group. Retrieved from <https://www.aerlawgroup.com/blog/is-a-restraining-order-public-record-can-it-be-viewed-by-anyone/>

4New York Restraining Orders: FAQ. Retrieved from <https://www.new-york-lawyers.org/new-york-restraining-orders-faq.html>

5Do protective orders show up on background checks? Michael D. Cleaves. Retrieved from <https://www.cleaveslawfirm.com/blog/2021/01/do-protective-orders-show-up-on-background-checks/>

6Lento, J. (2016). Will a PFA Show Up on My “Record” or on a Background Check. Lento Law Firm. Retrieved from <https://www.pafamilylawllc.com/will-a-pfa-show-up-on-my-record-or-on-a-background-check>

7Instant access. Vermont State Records. Retrieved from <https://vermont.staterecords.org/court.php>

8Your Record: Order of Protection Background Checks & Expungements. (2019). Sherwood Boutique Litigation. Retrieved from <https://nashvillelegaldefense.com/criminal-attorney/order-of-protection-background-expunge/>

9Received a Restraining Order in New Mexico? What Can Happen and What You Should Do. Genus Law. Retrieved from <https://www.genuslawgrp.com/library/received-a-restraining-order-in-new-mexico-.cfm>

102019 Restraining Order FAQ. Retrieved from <https://www.arnellaw.com/faq/209a-restraining-order-faq/>

11CLETS Restraining Order. Legal Match. Retrieved from <https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/clets-restraining-order.html>

12What is a restraining order? (2021). De Castroverde. Retrieved from <https://decastroverdelaw.com/blog/criminal-defense/how-long-does-a-restraining-order-stay-on-your-record/>