A Restraining Order can be taken out ex parte, which means that the person who is requesting the order goes to court, applies to the judge without the other person being there and the judge, if satisfied, will grant a temporary order. The person against whom the order is made isn't usually deemed to be bound by the order until it's brought to their attention, usually by way of a process server or police officer.
Can I Reply?
You will have the opportunity to respond. This will give you chance to give your version of the story. During this time, a lawyer is not required but it is absolutely recommended -- especially if children are involved. Otherwise custody and visitation rights can be interfered with.
What Recourse is Available When the Person Who Asked For the Restraining Order is Lying?
In practical terms, almost none if you go it alone. You are entitled to a hearing where the evidence will probably be your word against his or hers. In the vast majority of cases, the judge will err on the side of caution and approve the order, unless you can show some specific reason why this would cause you unreasonable harm, which only a competent attorney can do.
Paul R. Moraski, Esq.
The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski
221 Essex Street, Suite 51
Salem, Massachusetts 01970