Restraining Order

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Restraining Order in California

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Domestic Violence – General Information

Domestic Violence may occur in many forms between two people in an intimate relationship. Physical violence includes kicking, punching, shoving, slapping or any action that hurts your body. Sexual violence includes unwelcome touching, fondling or forced intimacy. Emotional violence includes using coercion, threats or anger to create a controlling and fearful relationship.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Tips

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911. During hours that the Court is closed, a law enforcement officer can obtain an Emergency Protective Order which lasts from 5 to 7 days. If you are not in immediate danger but need protection from harm or harassment, you may apply for a temporary restraining order. If the person from whom you are seeking protection is undocumented, you may want to discuss this issue with one of the agencies listed below.

If you need counseling, emergency shelter, help with requesting your restraining order, or someone to accompany you to court, you may contact one of family and women agencies for assistance.

To determine whether you may be at risk for a potentially dangerous domestic violence incident, use a LETHALITY RISK SELF ASSESSMENT AND SAFETY PLANNING GUIDE.

There is NO FILING FEE to apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. You may apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order if you have been the victim of any of the following:

  • Actual physical violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual abuse
  • A serious threat of physical violence
  • Harassing and annoying phone calls
  • Destruction of personal property

AND

You have, or have had, a close personal relationship with the party you are asking to have restrained. Under the law, a relationship is defined as “close” if at least one of the following is true:

  • You are married or were formerly married to the other party.
  • You have or formerly had an engagement or dating relationship with the other party.
  • You and the other party have a child or children together.
  • You are related to the other party by blood, marriage or adoption.
  • You and the other party are living together, or formerly lived together, as members of a “household.”

How to Apply for a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order

You may apply to the Court for an order restraining a person from all contact with you, your children, and other family members; from living in the residence; and to stay away from you, your home, your vehicle, your place of employment, and the children’s school and/or place of child care.

THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER FORMS. All forms are available from the Civil Clerk’s Office.

You may also access the forms on line at ezlegalfile.org or courtinfo.ca.gov. Restraining order forms are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean.

To apply for a restraining order, please complete the forms available. An applicant for a restraining order must have the completed forms to the Clerk’s Office. The clerk will give the completed forms to a judge to review. The Court will sign or reject restraining orders. The applicant may pick up the forms at the Clerk’s Office. If the reviewing judge approves them, the clerk will set a date for the hearing and the restraining order will take effect when it is served on the restrained person.

In all cases, temporary restraining order forms must be accompanied by a declaration describing in detail the incidents of abuse which support your application for a restraining order. Your request will be reviewed by a judicial officer and then, if the temporary restraining order is granted, it will be filed with the Court. A person over the age of 18 must serve the papers on the other party. The Sheriff’s Office will attempt to serve the papers for domestic violence restraining orders free of charge.

At the time you submit your application for a temporary restraining order, you must fill out a confidential Law Enforcement Supplemental Information form. This form requests descriptive information, including birth date, home and work addresses and telephone numbers, and the driver’s license number of the person you seek to have restrained. Bring all identifying information you have regarding this person with you to the Court. The purpose of this form is to make sure that your restraining order can be enforced and that it can be entered into a Statewide Protective Order Registry which is available to all law enforcement agencies.

Other Types of Restraining Orders

There are other types of restraining orders that do not involve domestic violence. These include:

  • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders: These orders protect individuals from a person harassing them who is not a family member and who they have not had a dating relationship with. There are filing fees for civil harassment restraining orders unless the person seeking the restraining order qualifies for a fee waiver because of low income or in the event that violence is alleged. Judicial Council forms for temporary restraining orders may be found at courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi.
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders: These orders apply to individuals who fall under the definition of elderly or dependent adults and are seeking protection from abuse. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THESE RESTRAINING ORDERS. Judicial Council forms for temporary restraining orders may be found at courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi.
  • Workplace Violence: These orders are filed by the business owner or manager of the business to protect the employees or individuals who work for a business where there has been violence or threats of violence. There are filing fees for workplace violence restraining orders unless the person seeking the restraining order qualifies for a fee waiver because of low income or in the event that violence is alleged. Judicial Council forms for order to show cause and temporary restraining order may be found at courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi.

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