Restraining Orders

Restraining Orders in California

Restraining Orders

Restraining orders can be issued in varying Courts and for various reasons.  For example, in some Criminal Court cases where there is an allegation of some version of violence or threat of violence, the Court may order a “Protective Order” while the case is pending to help protect the alleged victim(s).  That Protective Order can that get extended if there is a conviction in that case.  In those cases there is generally a Police report that is forwarded to a Prosecutor (ie. District Attorney, City Attorney, or City Prosecutor).  The Prosecutor then files a complaint against the Defendant in Criminal Court, and the Court may order a Protective Order.

Not all Court orders to protect someone are tied to a criminal case though.  Domestic Violence Restraining Orders and Civil Harassment Restraining Orders can be initiated by someone even without involvement from a Prosecutor, and sometimes without involvement from law enforcement.  In some cases where the evidence is not strong enough for a Prosecutor to file criminal charges against someone, the Victim may opt to file a Restraining Order request directly with the Court.  This can happen even when there is a related criminal case filed against a Defendant.  Additionally, there are also Elder or Dependent Adult Restraining Orders, as well as Workplace Violence Restraining Orders.

1.  Domestic Violence Restraining Order vs. Civil Harassment Restraining Order

There are some differences between a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Hereafter referred to as a (“DVRO”)vs. a Civil Harassment Restraining Order (Hereafter referred to as a “CHRO”).  The key distinguishing in determining if the case should be filed as a DVRO or a CHRO is the relationship between the “Petitioner” (Person seeking protection) and the “Respondent” (Person who protection is being sought from).  For example, if the two parties involved were dating or previously dated (or more serious, ie. engaged, married/divorced, closely related), then the case should likely be filed as a DVRO, otherwise, CHRO covers other relationship statuses (ie.  neighbors, acquaintances, non-dating friends/former friends, etc).   

2.  What Kind of Actions Would Warrant a Restraining Order? 

A restraining order is a Court order that helps protect people from issues such as violence, stalking, serious harassment (ie.  Harassing Calls, texts, emails), or threats of violence.

3.  What Can a Restraining Order Do For Me, OR, How Would A Restraining Order Adversely Affect me?

A restraining order is an Order made and processed by the Court.  The Order can require the restrained person not do a variety of things, depending on the case.  For example, the Order can require the Respondent not to….:

  • Not contact you or any member of your household;
  • Not go near you (within a set distance, ie. within 100 yards), your children, or others who live with you, no matter where you go;
  • Stay away from your work, your school, or your children’s school;
  • Not have or own a gun;
  • Stay away from your pets; 
  • If they live with you, the Order can require them to move out while the Order is active. 
  • In DVRO cases, the Court can order additional things such as paying child/spousal support, pay certain bills, and other actions. 

Once the court issues (makes) a restraining order, it goes into a statewide computer system that law enforcement officers can access.  If the restrained person violates the restraining order, he or she may be charged criminally under Penal Code 273.6 as a misdemeanor, may go to jail, pay a fine, or both.  In some cases, the charges can increase to a felony.

Further having a restraining order against you (if you are the restrained person) may affect your immigration status and can show up on your record for an extended period of time. 

4.  What types of Orders Can take Place During This Process

There are several different types of Restraining/Protective Orders that can be issued during the course of CHRO/DVRO proceedings, that all vary in length and consequences.

A.  Emergency Protective Order (Hereafter referred to as an “EPO”)

An EPO is a type of restraining order that law enforcement can directly request from a Judge. EPO’s start immediately upon being issued and can last up to 7 days. The judge can order the abusive person to leave the home (if they live with you). That gives the Petitioner enough time to go to court to file for a temporary restraining order.

B.  Temporary Restraining Order (Hereafter referred to as a “TRO”)

A TRO acts a bridge or a placeholder leading up to a Permanent Restraining Order hearing.  A TRO can be issued without a hearing, which means that it can be issued without the other party getting a chance to defend themselves in Court (at that time).  There is paperwork that needs to be completed and filed with the Court, and the Judge reviewing the paperwork can determine whether or not to issue a TRO, the extent of the TRO to remain in place while the hearing for the Permanent Restraining Order is pending. 

C.  “Permanent” Restraining Order (Restraining Order After Hearing)

When you go to court for the hearing that was scheduled for your TRO, the judge may issue a “permanent” restraining order which can last up to 5 years (so, not really permanent).  If granted and still necessary once the initial Permanent Restraining Order expires, it can be renewed. 

5.  Law Office of Philip Hache – Preparing, Filing and Representing You In Court

Restraining Orders are very helpful in providing a level of protection for victims and are a great means of protectio provided by the Court.  Often times, the evidence against the Respondent does not rise to the level necessary for a criminal complaint to be filed or a conviction reached, but that does not mean a continuing threat is not posed.  A restraining order (either temporary or permanent) can offer protection to the victim.

That being said, the Restraining Order process can be abused by people in order to make life difficult for the Resondent, seek unwarranted revenge, or get the upper hand in some other (often related) controversy between the parties. 

Whether it is to Represent you as the Petitioner in seeking a Restraining Order against someone, or as the Respondent to defend against a restraining order filed against you, I am happy to discuss the process with you further.  I Understand in either situation, it is a stressful time.  I will listen to your situation and help you get through this difficult time. 

Call me at 818-336-1384 for a free consultation. 

If you are charged Criminally with Domestic Violence, click here: Domestic Violence Information

Other Resource:  For victims of abuse: