Restraining Orders

Before you request a restraining order, you must determine who you are seeking a restraining order against. In California, there are two types of restraining orders, a Civil Harassment Restraining Order and a Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. In a domestic violence action, there must be some special relationship between the parties. This relationship would be having children together, dated or married to the person or a close relative.  Whereas, in a Civil Harassment, no close relationship is required to obtain a restraining order. So the restrained person would be a neighbor, roommate, friend, or someone you are not closely related to.  

Both domestic violence and civil harassment restraining orders can have the same effect. They can order the restrained person to Not contact you or any member of your household, not go near you, your children, or others who live with you, no matter where you go; Stay away from your work, school, or children’s school; or to turn in or sell any firearms.  Once the court issues a restraining order, it goes into a statewide computer system. This means that law enforcement officers across California can see there is a restraining order in place.

There is a process you must go through to obtain a restraining order. First, you will file the court forms in your county seeking the restraining order, the judge will decide by the next to whether or not to make the order. If the judge grants the order, he will first make “temporary” orders that only last until the court date. The person seeking protection will then have to serve the other person with a copy of all the restring order papers before the court date. The restrained person then has the right to file an answer explaining their side of the story. Finally, both sides go to the hearing, and at the hearing, the judge will decide whether to continue the temporary restraining order, making it a permanent one that can last up to five years, or to cancel the restraining order.

When filing or responding to a restraining order, it is crucial that you seek help from an attorney. If you win a restraining order case, you may be entitled to your attorney fees. However, if you lose a restraining order case, you may be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney fees along with your own. Additionally, the respondent may also seek to sue you for malicious prosecution. To see if you have a valid restraining order case, please contact us today for a consultation.