How Do California Restraining Orders Work?

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

Family law restraining orders provide protection for individuals in a relationship or marriage that have suffered abuse or harassment. They can provide for short and/or long-term protection. Restraining orders can be used for a variety of purposes including: ordering someone out of your home or to keep away from you, preventing someone from owning a firearm, or even to deal with custody issues.

However, restraining orders aren’t right for everyone. At the Carroll Law Office we can work with you to find the best approach to your domestic violence case. If you are looking to file for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO), it’s important to understand everything about them before going into it. So what is the process? How do you go about getting one? What can you expect?

First, make sure this is a process that is right for you. Restraining orders are unique in that they are based on submissions by one side. If you are filing for one, the court will hear your evidence and then decide on a temporary restraining order (TRO). TROs are decided without hearing from the accused at all; in fact, the accused is not even given notice or an opportunity to respond. If the paperwork you submit is sufficient for a determination and the TRO is granted, then it becomes court ordered until you have a hearing to determine the full merits of your case.

Next, you have to make sure you qualify. In California this means that you and the person you want to restrain must be:

  • Married or registered domestic partners
  • Divorced or separated
  • Dating or used to date
  • Living together or used to live together
  • Parents together of a child
  • Closely related

If you determine that it’s right for you and that you qualify, then you’ll go to court and fill out the necessary forms. Once you have done this, you will then file your forms with the court. After filing, the court will serve your papers on the restrained person. Once served, a court date will be set for your hearing. At the hearing, you should be fully prepared with all of your evidence and witnesses.

How long can restraining orders last?

Generally they last between one and five years. They can be extended if necessary and upon a showing of good cause. If you currently have a restraining order that is set to expire soon, contact an experienced family law attorney who can help you figure out your next step.

Can you get another one?

In short, yes. In general, if you can make a good faith showing that you need your restraining order extended then the court will often grant that based on your evidence and testimony again without needing to hear from the other side.

At the Carroll Law Office we take domestic violence cases very seriously. Our goal is to provide a confidential environment for victims and their families to seek help and to figure out the best plan for them moving forward. Family law cases are complex, and domestic violence restraining orders are no exception. We have the experience and the compassion necessary to help you through this very difficult, scary, and stressful time in your life. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact us today.

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