Protect Yourself: A Brief Guide to the 4 Types of Restraining Orders Recognized in California

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

Abuse, whether physical, emotional, or sexual, is a serious problem in the U.S. Statistics shows that, on average, almost 20 people are physically abused by their intimate partner every minute. Unfortunately, California is no exception to this saddening national trend. Data shows that 32.9% of women and 27.3% of men have experienced some form of harassment at the hands of their intimate partners in their lifetime.

One of the protections a victim of abuse can obtain in California is a restraining order. This legal tool is defined as “a court order that can protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed.” There are 4 types of restraining orders that a court in California can issue according to different circumstances of abuse a person has suffered. Read on to learn more about these restraining orders, the protections they offer, and the situations in which they may apply.

  1. Domestic Violence Restraining Order

The state of California defines domestic violence as abuse (or threats) inflicted by a person with whom the victim has a close, intimate relationship. Thus, domestic abuse can be inflicted by a current or former spouse, a domestic partner, or a close relative. If the abuser is someone the victim is dating, used to date, or has a child with, the maltreatment can also be classified as domestic abuse.

A victim can file a domestic violence restraining order if both of the conditions described above are met. A domestic violence restraining order can impose different kinds of restrictions on the abuser, including the prohibition to contact the victim or go near them, their children, relatives, and even the victim’s pets. It can also order the abuser to move out of the victim’s house and release or return certain property belonging to the victim. The exact protections warranted by a restraining order will be imposed by the court on the basis of unique circumstances of each case.

  1. Civil Harassment Restraining Order

A civil harassment restraining order can offer protection from abuse in situations similar to the ones described above, involving harassment, stalking, or threats inflicted by a person who doesn’t have an intimate relationship with the victim. This kind of restraining order is usually sought against an abuser who is the victim’s roommate, neighbor, a distant family member, or even a complete stranger.

  1. Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order

Abuse of an elder or a dependent adult can take many forms apart from inflicting both physical and emotional harm. It can also include other more passive actions that can be equally injurious – such as neglect, abandonment, or isolation of an elder or a dependent adult. Notably, financial abuse – taking advantage of an elderly person in order to obtain financial gain – can also become a basis for filing a restraining order.

A person can file for an elder abuse restraining order if they are either 65 years or older and suffered harm as a result of the above-mentioned kinds of abuse. Similarly, such a restraining order can also be filed against an elderly person’s caregiver if they deprive an elder of services that the elder needs to avoid physical or psychological harm. A similar restraining order can be filed by a person between the ages of 18 and 64 who can be classified as a dependent adult due to certain mental or physical disabilities.

  1. Workplace Violence Restraining Order

If an employee is a victim of violence inflicted by another employee or if a credible threat of such violence exists, the employer can ask for a restraining order against the perpetrator. Such an order may oblige the abuser to stop harassing or threatening the other employee, not to go near them, and prohibit the abuse from having a gun. It is important to note that while the victimized employer can file, depending on the circumstances, for a different kind of a restraining order, a workplace violence restraining order must be initiated by the employer rather than by the victim.

It is important to note that while a victim doesn’t have to be represented by a lawyer in order to ask for a restraining order, there are multiple benefits of having an attorney when dealing with an abuser. If you are a victim of abuse of any kind, do not hesitate to reach out to Carroll Law Office for support and representation. We take abuse and violence cases very seriously and we can help you obtain effective legal protection. Contact us to discuss your case.

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