Restraining Orders in California: What You Need to Know
Filing or Defending Against a Restraining Order
A restraining order comes from the court, usually with the assistance of a divorce attorney and directs a person not to do something, such as strike, harass, follow or even make contact with another person. Restraining orders are generally issued in an attempt to protect one party from another party and can sometimes be a factor in a divorce. Domestic abuse can be actual or threatened, and a restraining order can be granted whether or not the victim is married. Protective orders can be issued on an emergency basis or upon a motion in an independent action under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA).
A person seeking a DVPA order must fall into one of the categories described in California Family Code §6211.
These categories are:
- a spouse or former spouse
- a cohabitant or former cohabitant
- a person with whom the perpetrator is having or had a dating or engagement relationship
- a person with whom the perpetrator has a child
- a child of one of the involved parties
- blood relatives
If a person does not fit into one of these categories, the individual must seek a civil harassment restraining order in Civil Court.
Restraining Orders Fall into Four Categories
1. Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order
For a victim of domestic violence, this restraining order is normally effective for several weeks. Once it has been obtained, the court sets a date for both parties to return to court to make the order a permanent order, lasting for a maximum of five years in California.
2. Emergency Protective Order
This type of restraining order provides immediate protection when a threatening situation is present. It is only valid for several days, which is long enough for the victim to go to court for a more permanent order.
3. Civil Harassment Restraining Order
A civil harassment restraining order is used to stop harassment, threats or stalking, whether it’s from roommates, co-workers, neighbors or the boyfriend/girlfriend of an ex-spouse or partner.
4. Criminal Protective Order
Criminal protective orders are issued in active cases of domestic violence. They’re obtained through the criminal court instead of the family law court, and they involve the district attorney.
If You’re Facing a Restraining Order
It is relatively easy to obtain a temporary restraining order in San Diego, so it’s not that unusual for an angry ex-spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend to use such an order as a tool to limit a parent’s access to his or her children or to generally make life difficult. The order can be issued without notice to the other party in some circumstances and can cause a significant disruption to your life. You might not be aware it has even been issued, but you’re required to turn in all firearms once it’s in effect. You can also be arrested if you are alleged to have violated the order. As a result, it has the potential to turn into a serious criminal charge and create further problems.
Defense of Persons Accused of Domestic Violence
In divorce and child custody disputes, one party sometimes uses a false accusation to gain an advantage. At the Law Office of Renkin & Associates, we take action in cases where this is being done to complicate a client’s life and leverage issues in a divorce or family law dispute instead of for its true and intended purpose.
Contact Our Law Office About Restraining Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders
If you need to pursue a restraining order or defend against one, contact our San Diego family law attorney to discuss the details of your situation. In matters of domestic violence, civil harassment and restraining orders, we can help. Call (619) 299-7100 or send us an email.