Exploring The Different Types Of Restraining Orders In California

restraining orders

A restraining order, or order of protection, prevents someone from contacting you or taking other specified actions against you and others listed on the order of protection. In California, it is a misdemeanor for a person subject to a restraining order to violate the order. California recognizes various types of restraining orders, including:

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Domestic violence restraining orders protect people from abuse from someone with whom they have or had a romantic relationship or to whom they are related. Specifically, this type of restraining order is available if the victim and defendant are:

  • Married
  • Registered domestic partners
  • Divorced
  • Separated
  • Dating or used to date
  • Living together or used to live together
  • Parents of the same child
  • Closely related

To obtain a domestic violence restraining order, the victim must show that they are scared of the perpetrator and that the perpetrator has done one of the following to them:

  • Abused them
  • Threatened to abuse them
  • Sexually assaulted them
  • Stalked them
  • Seriously harassed them

If you or a loved one is in a situation that would benefit from a restraining order, obtaining a family law attorney is beneficial to get through all the paperwork and processes.

Elder Or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order

An elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order is available to protect elders or dependent adults from physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, abandonment, treatment that has physically or mentally harmed them, or deprivation of basic needs from a caregiver.

To obtain this type of restraining order, the victim must either be 65 or older or be an adult younger than 65 who has certain mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being able to perform normal activities to protect themselves.

Civil Harassment Restraining Order

Civil harassment restraining orders protect individuals from violence, stalking, harassment, or threats of violence. A civil harassment restraining order can be taken against a much broader category of people than a domestic violence restraining order, including:

  • Neighbors
  • Extended family members
  • Roommates
  • Friends
  • Others who pose a danger

Situations like these are not uncommon, and having an attorney advocating for your protection is hugely beneficial.

Workplace Violence Restraining Order

Workplace violence restraining orders can only be taken out by employers who want to protect an employee who has been stalked, seriously harassed, abused, or the recipient of a credible threat of violence at the workplace.

Criminal Protective Order

A criminal protective order or stay-away order is sometimes ordered in a criminal case. It orders the defendant to stay away from the victim while the case is pending and up to three years after the case concludes.

How to Obtain a Restraining Order

The process to obtain a restraining order in California is largely the same, regardless of which type of restraining order the victim is seeking. The victim must fill out the appropriate court forms and request the type of restraining order they are seeking. Then, they must file the forms with the court. They are also responsible for serving the perpetrator with the court forms. Finally, they appear at the hearing to present their case.

If they need help, domestic violence victims can seek assistance from a domestic violence shelter or lawyer.

How Long Restraining Orders Last

Restraining orders may last anywhere from days to years. Here are the different types of restraining orders and how long they last:

Emergency Protective Order

If a person is in immediate danger of domestic violence, a law enforcement officer can request an emergency protective order be issued. A judge issues this order, which remains in effect for one week. During this time, the victim can apply for a temporary restraining order.


Temporary Restraining Order

A temporary restraining order lasts between 20 to 25 days. It provides protection when a person is in immediate danger until the court can hear the case. At the end of the period the temporary restraining order covers, the victim attends a court hearing where the judge determines whether or not to issue a permanent restraining order.


Permanent Restraining Order

To obtain a permanent restraining order, the court holds a hearing. If the judge determines that the victim is in danger, the court may issue a permanent restraining order. How long these orders last depends on the type of restraining order involved and the circumstances of the case. For example, a domestic violence restraining order is valid for up to five years. In contrast, a civil harassment restraining order is valid for up to three years.

Contact Bruce A. Mandel For Help With Restraining Orders

If you are a victim of domestic violence or otherwise would like to obtain a restraining order for your own protection, Bruce A. Mandel can help. Bruce A. Mandel is an experienced family attorney who has helped many clients obtain orders of protection, and he is ready to help you, too. Contact him online to learn more. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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