Restraining order and TS clearance

Good afternoon,

I’m currently employed in the Public Trust position but am interested in applying to an opening with a security clearance requirement listed as Top Secret Critical Sensitive/High Risk.

Just over 7 years ago I made a poor choice of partner, along with some poor personal choices in a relationship and had an ex take out a civil restraining order on me. There were no related criminal charges. There has been no contact with them and no other similar problems with any one else ever. Otherwise, my background is very clean.

Would this previous restraining order preclude me from obtaining the required clearance?

Thank you

In the absence of any criminal record and given how long ago this was, I would imagine this being ok… I am not an expert though, so hopefully one of the investigators that are active on here will provide more context. From what I understand, RO is basically a civil matter but there usually some sort of DV episode attached to it. But as you say, if there were no criminal incidents taking place I do not see how this would affect your SF86.

The problem with this is that they can and usually will interview your ex. Then the burden is on your to disprove them.

This could potentially come up in two different areas of the SF86 when you are interviewed by the investigator; in the residences section you are asked if there was any police activity/problems at that residence (if the police came to the home to issue the RO, etc). Then in Question 22 in the “last seven years” part of being asked to appear in court. The specific protective order/restraining order question is phrased “is there currently…issued against you” so you can answer no to that.

In the interest of full transparency, because investigator will, as a routine procedure, pull your police/sheriff records, I would recommend that you disclose this even if it doesn’t fall exactly in the perimeters of the question’s wording.

Be prepared to provide the Who, What, Where, When and all the details including who knows about it (obviously the ex, but if they are not willing to be interviewed, who else is aware of this)

I have had persons who have had similar issues; since I’m not an adjudicator I don’t know if it caused a denial. I do know that one person was undergoing their second reinvestigation since the incident, they disclosed it when it happened and we rediscussed it during their most recent interview. (ie it happened 10 years ago, they had been cleared prior with this incident on their record, and to fully disclose they volunteered the information).

Had one where the ex (with whom they had children and continuing contact) had filed all kinds of charges; domestic abuse, robbery, prtective order, etc. When I interviewed the former spouse, they talked about the individual under investigation like the person walked on water and could do no wrong. Never had any interaction with police, was an all around great person and wonderful parent, etc etc. So you just never know.

Thank you for the detailed response. It has been previously disclosed on my SF-85 for my current position but it doesn’t appear anyone went deep into it, at least at face value.

Obviously the wildcard is I have no idea what the ex will have to say about everything 7 years down the line. It’s something I’ve moved well past, but I have not the slightest clue on her end. It’s also impossible for me to truly disprove or prove any allegations as everything is pretty much he said she said, hence why nothing further came of it.

Fortunately or unfortunately I’m not in a place in life where I can leave my livelihood to a “let’s see what happens” crapshoot. I have a family and solid career and 6 years of federal service behind me.

Would the clearance stated have to be fully adjudicated prior to starting the position? If the clearance would have to be approved prior to start, would a denial negatively effect my current public trust position?

Sounds like a classic abuse victim. Victims often heap praise on the abuser, hoping to please them.

I had a restraining order granted against me about 1.5 years before applying for a security clearance. No criminal charges/police involvement. I was approved in 3 months and was not interviewed. For obvious reasons I don’t know if the other party was interviewed or not. Every case is different of course but just wanted to share my own experience. If your case is as you say I don’t see it being a major issue though.

Or the ex wanted the individual to keep their job ensuring no break in child support.