Applying for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Temporary restraining orders (TROs) and permanent restraining orders may be granted in family court when domestic violence is present in a relationship. This section only applies to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Issued in Family Law Court. This section does not deal with emergency protective orders, which are granted by police officers or criminal courts.
In order to get a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in California, you must first show that the person you are seeking to restrain is a current or former spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, someone with whom you have a child in common, someone with whom you live (or have lived), or someone related to you through blood or marriage. Then, you must prove that the person you are seeking to restrain:
- Caused or attempted to cause you physical injury;
- Sexually assaulted you;
- Made you fear that you or another person is in danger of immediate and serious physical injury;
- Molested, attacked, striked, battered, or stalked you;
- Threatened or harassed you in person, over the phone, via email or letter;
- Destroyed your personal property; and/or
- Disturbed your peace.
If you do not have a qualifying relationship with the person you would like to restrain or his or her actions aren't on this specific list, you may still be able to receive a standard civil restraining order.
When you apply for a restraining order, a clerk will give you a court date. If you need emergency protection in the meantime, you can ask a judge to grant temporary protection orders to last until the court hearing. Unless you are afraid of the person you are seeking protection from, or have no way of contacting him, you must give notice that you are seeking emergency (ex parte) orders, before 10:00 am on the court day prior to the hearing.
Even if a judge denies your TRO, you may seek a "permanent" order from the judge. A permanent domestic violence restraining order can be put in place for up to 5 years and, at that point, you may ask the judge for an extension.
The attorneys at R & S Law Group are experienced in the preparation of restraining order applications and offer a sliding scale fee. In addition, our attorneys have successfully argued on behalf of restraining order applicants in courts throughout Southern California.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to file a DV restraining order?
There is no fee for filing a DV restraining order in California.
I am afraid of my ex. Do I have to put my address on my request for restraining order?
No, there are ways to avoid using your name and address on your court documents. Using an attorney or registering with Safe at Home are two of your options.
Can I bring someone with me to the court hearing?
Yes, although that person cannot speak for you unless he or she is an attorney.
I moved. Is my restraining order still valid?
Yes, but it may be a good idea to register your restraining order with the local court and/or law enforcement agency.
We have children together. Can I get orders for child custody or support?
Yes, the court can issue temporary orders for support and custody in your restraining order.
Domestic Violence Resources
If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help right away.
Human Options: http://www.humanoptions.org
24-Hour Bilingual Hotline: 877-854-3594
Los Angeles County
Los Angeles Domestic Violence Council: http://dvcouncil.lacounty.gov/#P390_8203
24-Hour Hotline: 800-978-3600
Alternatives to Domestic Violence: http://www.alternativestodv.org/
24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-339-SAFE
San Bernardino County
Option House: http://www.wix.com/optionhouse11/option-house
24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 909-381-3471
For help in other California counties, please visit: