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How Can I File a Restraining Order in California?

At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our Certified Family Law Specialist in San Bernardino understands that conflict occurs in many types of relationships. At times, the emotional components of these disagreements can lead to reactions that cross physical and emotional boundaries that can only be remedied by filing for a restraining order in California.

Also called protective orders, they are for more than those who are suffering from domestic violence. They can apply to close relationships — including spouses and partners, both current or past — but they may also apply to caregivers and in civil harassment scenarios. Even employers can request a restraining order to protect an employee.

In each of these applications, it is recommended that the filer has an experienced San Bernardino County family law attorney by their side to file the necessary paperwork properly, submit evidence, and tell your story to the judge to help increase your chances of successfully being granted a protective order for your unique circumstances.

What Are the Different Types of Restraining Orders in California?

Our California Courts take protection orders very seriously, as the safety of those who apply for them could be in jeopardy before and after they apply for the order, which is why they are available in different capacities.

There are four different types of restraining orders a victim may apply for in California:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are reserved for those who have suffered abuse in a close personal relationship, which may include:

    • Marriages
    • Partnerships
    • Living together
    • Dating

They may also be applied in relationships with a close family member like a child, grandparent, or in-law.

  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders

Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders are reserved for those who can prove they have suffered abuse like neglect, physical or mental abuse, deprivation, abandonment, or financial mishandling and are:

    • Between the ages of 18 and 64 with certain physical or mental abilities
    • Over the age of 65
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders are reserved for people who are being threatened, harassed, stalked, or abused by someone that they do not have a close relationship with, like acquaintances, neighbors, and even strangers.

  • Workplace Violence Restraining Orders

Workplace Violence Restraining Orders are reserved for employers who are seeking to protect an employee who is the victim of serious harassment, stalking, violence, or a credible threat of violence while at work.

The employee may not file a workplace violence restraining order but may file a domestic violence or civil harassment restraining order for protection instead.

How Are Restraining Orders Applied in California?

First, there is a Temporary Restraining Order, which lasts between 20 to 25 days and offers protection to the victim before the court has heard their full case.

Anyone can file for a Temporary Restraining Order if they are:

  • The victim of violence
  • Threats of violence
  • Abuse
  • Domestic abuse
  • Harassment

Next, there is a Permanent Restraining Order, which is typically issued after a Temporary Restraining Order during the follow-up court hearing.

Based on the evidence provided during the hearing, the judge will decide if there are grounds for permanent protection, which typically applies for three to five years, and may be reapplied for once expired.

Finally, there is an Emergency Protective Order.

Law enforcement officers who respond to domestic violence calls may request an Emergency Protective Order that lasts for one week and applies even to those who live in the home.

Law enforcement officials are the only people who can request an Emergency Protective Order, which applies to those who are:

  • A child that is in danger of being abducted
  • An elderly person or dependent adult who is possibly in immediate danger
  • In present danger of domestic violence

What Does a California Restraining Order Do?

Restraining orders provide different levels of protection for specific acts.

For instance, personal conduct orders are designed to safeguard the protected person or people from behavior that includes:

  • Attacking, striking, or battering
  • Contacting, calling, or sending any messages, including those via text or email
  • Destroying personal property
  • Disturbing the peace of the protected people.
  • Harassing
  • Sexually assaulting
  • Stalking
  • Threatening

Stay-away orders keep the restrained person a certain distance away from the protected person or people, including:

  • Where they live
  • Where they Work
  • Their vehicles
  • Other important places they go
  • Their children’s child care location or schools, when applicable

Residence exclusion orders, which are often called move-out orders require the restrained person to move out of the residence where the protected person lives.

These orders can only be applied in domestic violence or elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order cases.

The exclusion order allows the restrained person to take only clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing.

If you believe you are in danger, or have recently filed for divorce and are concerned about your safety because of your spouse’s reaction, contact our San Bernardino family law attorney the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 today to discuss which protection order may be right for you, so you can proceed with your plans safely.

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