What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California

What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California

Domestic violence is defined as either abuse or the threat of abuse when both parties are in or have been in an intimate relationship, such as marriage, domestic partnership, live together or used to live together, have a child together, are dating or used to date, or are closely related by blood or marriage. Physical abuse is not necessary for one to successfully obtain a domestic violence restraining order since abuse has a broad definition in this context.

According to domestic violence laws, abuse can be defined as:

  • Physically hurting or attempting to hurt someone
  • Sexual assault
  • Making the individual fear for his or her safety or the safety of someone else
  • Harassment, stalking, threatening, hitting, or destroying personal property

Abuse can also involve kicking, shoving, pushing, hair-pulling, throwing objects, scaring, preventing a person from leaving, emotional abuse, or the abuse of a family pet.

The whole restraining order process is not easy or fun. I feel bad for those seeking a restraining order. They are dealing with the emotions of the abuse and then they have to deal with the Court system. That’s where I can help.

I can help you correctly do your declarations and paperwork (it is a real pain-lots of duplication of the same information on different forms). We take our time to make sure you are putting your best arguments forward. This is very important.

After that, we file your documents with the Court (this takes hours of sitting at the Court while the Clerk looks it over, then it is presented to the Judge and they may have questions..) If the temporary restraining order is granted, the other party needs to get served and we prepare for the restraining order hearing which will be in front of the Judge a few weeks later.

I can help you get a restraining order or defend against one. We need to make sure you meet your burden of proof if seeking a restraining order and if defending against a restraining order then we are arguing how the other side didn’t meet their burden of proof.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

For those who need protection from abuse or the threat of abuse from someone with whom they have a close relationship, it is possible to obtain a domestic violence restraining order. You would be able to request a domestic violence restraining order if a person abused or threatened to abuse you and you have a close relationship with that person. A close relationship can be defined as:

  • You are parents of a child
  • You are divorced or separated
  • You are married or registered domestic partners
  • You are dating or dated in the past
  • You live together, used to live together
  • You are closely related (parents, siblings, grandparents, in-laws)

With a domestic violence restraining order, a person can be restrained to:

  • Not go near you, any of your relatives, or those who live with you
  • Not go near your home, workplace, or your children’s school
  • Vacate your shared living space
  • Not have a gun
  • Obey child custody and visitation orders
  • Make child support payments
  • Make spousal support payments
  • Not go near any of your pets
  • Transfer the rights to a cell phone number and account
  • Release or return certain property
  • Not make changes to insurance policies
  • Pay certain bills

A domestic violence restraining order cannot do the following:

  • End your marriage or domestic partnership
  • Establish the paternity of your children unless you and the restrained person agree to a parentage of your child or children and agree to the court entering a judgment regarding parentage

Types of Restraining Orders

There are also a variety of domestic violence restraining orders one can obtain, which includes:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO): Judges are available to issue emergency protective orders (EPO) 24 hours a day, so a police officer who answers a domestic violence call can ask a judge for an EPO at any time of the day or night. This type of order begins immediately and can last for up to 7 days.
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): If you were to go to court to request a domestic violence restraining order and explained why you need one to a judge, he or she could give you a temporary restraining order (TRO) if you are able to reasonably prove that you need protection. This restraining order can last anywhere from 20 to 25 days, until it is time for the court hearing date.
  • “Permanent” Restraining Order: A permanent restraining order is technically not permanent since they usually last up to 5 years. These are generally issued after you attend the hearing that was scheduled for your TRO. That said, it is possible for a new restraining order to be put into effect after the order expires if you still need protection.
  • Criminal Protective Order or “Stay-Away” Order: In cases where there is a domestic violence incident or a series of incidents, the district attorney may file criminal charges against the abuser, which can prompt the criminal court to issue a criminal protective order against the abuser. This can last for 3 years after the case is over.

Restraining Orders in La Mesa

If you have been abused or feel threatened by someone in your life, contact The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider in La Mesa. As a family law attorney I have seen how stalking, abuse, and the threat of violence can affect families. You should not have to live in a constant state of fear. I will present your case and all pertinent evidence available to a judge to ensure you have all the legal protections you need.

And if someone is making unfounded charges about you and seeking a restraining order against you, I’m happy to discuss representing you against those allegations.

I also handle restraining Civil Restraining Orders for those who do not have the close relationship as described above.

Get started on your case today and contact my office at (619) 304-8499 to schedule a consultation.

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