While the old saying is that good fences make good neighbours, unfortunately fences only do so much if relationships with your neighbours sour. Often restraining orders stem from relatively minor conflicts.

Given most restraining orders act to keep people away from each other's place of residence, some people are confused about how a restraining order can be used to settle neighbourly disputes. Read on to learn more about the mechanics of issuing restraining orders between neighbours.

Interim restraining orders

Interim restraining order can be granted with little proof and simply require an application at the local police station. A uniformed officer then serves the order. The orders will restrict them from approaching or threatening you but do not affect their ability to live next door to you.

Court-issued restraining orders

The next step is to attend court and provide proof of why a restraining order is required. The court will look at the history of the conflict including any police reports, and any records of the abuse including letters or electronic communications. Witnesses can be called to give their account of incidents of conflict.

The court can issue one of two kinds of restraining orders: an apprehended violence order if there is reasonable fear of violence or intimidation, or a misconduct restraining order where the concern is primarily relating to interference with property.

The court will take into account the living situation of both parties and cannot restrict people from living in their primary place of residence unless it places others under direct threat, in which case it is usually dealt with alongside an assault charge. The restraining order will usually account for not approaching the neighbour or their family, and not interfering with personal property and may also include provisions for not maligning the other party on social media.


In most cases it is preferable to enter into mediation to allow both parties to live side by side amicably. Formal mediation can be very useful in allowing each party equal air time to discuss issues with a third party adjudicating. Proof of an attempt to mediate can count in your favour in court proceedings.

If you have been served a restraining order, or are looking to place a restraining order against your neighbour you should contact a restraining order law firm such as Rod Keeley Legal. They can advise on the best ways to move through the legal system and gain resolution to the conflict.