How to Get a Restraining Order in California

Restraining Order

A restraining order, sometimes referred to as a protective order, is a court order that is designed to forbid a specific person from abusing, harassing, threatening, or stalking another person. If you are seeking a domestic violence restraining order, the person against whom you are seeking the order must be one of the following: a current or former spouse, significant other or ex, co-parent, roommate, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or in-law. If any of these individuals harass you, physically harm you, or make verbal threats, you can file a domestic violence restraining order.

What Can a Restraining Order Do?

When a restraining order is issued, the court will order the restrained party to refrain from engaging in any of the acts listed in the order. Such orders may include prohibitions against stalking, attacking, or communicating with the protected individual.

Here are some other protections a domestic violence restraining order can provide:

  • Order your abuser not to follow, assault, abuse, stalk, threaten, destroy the property of, sexually assault, come within a specified distance, harass, or disturb the peace of you, your family, children, or members of your household.
  • Give you exclusive passion, care, or control of an animal held by either you, your abuser, or a child who lives in either household.
  • Keep the abuser from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition and provide any information regarding your abuser’s firearms and how these items should be turned into law enforcement.
  • Grant temporary possession of certain items you owned together, such as a computer or a car.
  • Order your abuser to pay for your attorney fees.
  • Grant anything else a judge deems fitting.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Last?

The duration of your restraining order will greatly depend on the type you are granted.

Below is a list of the three types of domestic violence restraining orders in California:

  • Emergency protective order: When a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence call, the officer can call a judge to request that an emergency protective order be issued. It will become effective immediately. These types of orders only last 5 business days or 7 calendar days, whichever is shorter.
  • Temporary (ex parte) restraining order: If you go to court to apply for a restraining order, you will be given a date by the clerk (generally within 3 weeks) for when you will have to return to court for a full hearing. If you believe you are in immediate danger, you can request a temporary restraining order.
  • Restraining order after the hearing: After attending your court hearing, the judge may grant you a restraining order that can last up to 5 years. If the order does not have a termination date, it will last 3 years, starting on the date it was issued. It is also possible to ask the judge to have the order extended for another 5 years or permanently, depending on the circumstances.

Schedule a Case Evaluation with a Compassionate Domestic Violence Attorney Today!

If you wish to obtain a restraining order because you believe your safety is at risk, do not hesitate to contact the legal team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff for the sound legal advice and compassionate support you need to navigate your case.

Call us today at (805) 633-4999 to schedule an initial consultation with our experienced attorney.

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