California Restraining Orders: 4 Things You Should Know

When someone else is physically or verbally abusing you, California law has certain mechanisms in place to protect you. The most commonly used tool is the restraining order, which is a temporary or permanent court order issued to prevent someone from approaching or otherwise contacting you.

Restraining orders, which primarily address family law issues like domestic violence, are often confused with protective orders, which are for criminal matters. This blog explains the types of restraining orders available, how they can protect you, and which ones are most appropriate for your situation.

Here are four things you should know about seeking a restraining order in California:

1. Domestic violence restraining orders involve current or former relationships.

You should apply for this type of order if you are being abused (or threatened with abuse) by someone you are married to, related to, divorced or separated from, have a domestic partnership with, or have a child with. A domestic violence restraining order even protects you if the person is a current or former roommate or lover.

Anyone who is being threatened or abused by a party they do not have a close relationship with, such as a neighbor or friend, can file a civil harassment restraining order instead.

2. There are two types of restraining orders available.

There are temporary and permanent restraining orders. The temporary version, which is known as a TRO, provides you with protection for up to 25 days. After a judge grants the order, it must be served on the abuser. You will also be given a date and time for the hearing when you seek a permanent restraining order.

Permanent restraining orders, on the other hand, last up to five years in California. At the end of that time period you may request a new order if you need to remain protected.

3. Emergency orders are instantly available.

If you are in immediate danger due to domestic violence and then call 911, a California law enforcement officer can request an emergency restraining order from a judge. Once issued, it goes into effect immediately and protects you for up seven calendar days, so you have time to file an application for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in court.

4. Restraining orders can have varying provisions.

When you obtain a restraining order, it can compel the recipient to observe different conditions or restrictions. Examples include:

  • Personal conduct: They are prohibited from contacting you in any way, personally or through an intermediary. This type of order also forbids them from destroying your personal property or disturbing your peace.
  • Stay-away: These orders require the recipient to keep a certain distance away from you, your residence, workplace, car, and other important places where you or your children go.
  • Residence exclusion: Also known as “move-out” orders, these orders require the person to move out of your home until the court hearing.
  • Child Custody: Children can be included as protected persons and you can also seek and obtain legal custody.

When you are dealing with domestic violence, a restraining order may be what you need to keep yourself and your children safe. For assistance in obtaining the protection you need, contact Ahluwalia Law P.C. today. We have helped many people get the legal support necessary to escape a domestic violence situation and move on to a better, stronger life.

Written by Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation

Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation

Welcome to Ahluwalia Law, P.C., the home of Attorney Madan Ahluwalia. Madan has been practicing law since 1994, and has been managing his own firm serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1995. He is passionate about building long-lasting relationships with each client, which begins by offering affordable, efficient, and personalized services.