Domestic Violence

Fast Start – What would you like to do?

 The Basic Restraining Order Process

    • Fill out the forms (choose the type of forms using one of the links above)
    • Submit the forms to the court.
    • The judge will decide whether or not to issue temporary orders, and the court will contact you when the forms are ready.
    • Have the notice of hearing and any temporary orders served on the restrained person.
    • Wait for a response from the restrained person.
    • Go to the court hearing where the judge will decide whether a restraining order will continue for a longer time.

What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A domestic violence restraining order is a court order requiring a person to stop abusing, threating, and harassing someone they formerly had a close relationship with

The TWO requirements to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order are that:

FIRST – A person has physically abused you or threatened to abuse you.  Abuse is defined by Family Code 6203:

    (a) For purposes of this act, “abuse” means any of the following:
      (1) To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
      (2) Sexual assault.
      (3) To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
      (4) To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320.
    (b) Abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault.

Family Code 6203 further expands the definition of abuse to include “molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, credibly impersonating…, falsely personating…, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, making annoying telephone calls…, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party…”

SECOND – You have a family relationship with that person, such as:

    • You are dating or used to date
    • You are married, divorced, or separated
    • You used to live together in a romantic relationship
    • You have a child together
    • You are a close relative, such as parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or in-law

A restraining order can NOT:

    • Keep someone from harming you.  A restraining order is a court order, and the person can get in trouble if the person continues to harass you, but it is not a shield.  If you feel that you are in danger, get away.  Hide.
    • End your marriage or domestic partnership. A restraining order is not a divorce.
    • Establish paternity of your children.
    • Divide your property.  A restraining order is meant to prevent abuse, not decide the property rights at the end of a relationship.
    • Substitute for an eviction.  A restraining order should not be used to kick out a roommate.

What a restraining order CAN do

A restraining order is a court order that can require the restrained person to:

    • Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you;
    • Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools;
    • Move out of your house (even if you live together);
    • Not have a gun;
    • Follow child custody and visitation orders;
    • Pay child support;
    • Pay spousal or partner support (if you are married or domestic partners);
    • Stay away from any of your pets;
    • Transfer the rights to a cell phone number and account to the protected person;
    • Pay certain bills;
    • Not make any changes to insurance policies;
    • Not incur large expenses or do anything significant to affect your or the other person’s property if you are married or domestic partners;
    • Release or return certain property; and
    • Complete a 52-week batterer intervention program.