An order of protection is sometimes called a protective or restraining order. In California, someone who gets an order of protection is known as the “protected person,” while the person the order is against is known as the “restrained person.”
These court orders help to change or prevent the behaviors or actions of someone to protect another individual or individuals. If a restrained person violates the court order, they may be arrested and taken to jail, fined by the court, or both.
Restraining orders or protective orders can do one of three things. First, they can include personal conduct orders which order the restrained person to stop doing certain things like contacting the protected person, stalking them, harassing them, or destroying their private property.
Or, the order can keep the restrained person a certain distance away from the protected person and may include the home, workplace, schools, vehicles, or other locations.
Orders of protection may also include “move-out” orders which compel the restrained person to move out from the residence until the court hearing. However, these orders only apply in domestic violence or elder abuse cases.
In California, there are four types of restraining or protective orders. The kind of order that applies to your case depends on the circumstances; each offers different protections.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order: You may ask the court for this type of order if you’ve been the victim of domestic violence, meaning someone you have a close relationship with has abused you.
- Elder Or Dependent Abuse Restraining Order: This order is intended to protect individuals 65 or older or adults with mental or physical disabilities. It includes physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, abandonment, or deprivation by a caregiver.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order: If you’re being victimized by someone for who you don’t have the type of relationship required for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, this may be the appropriate order for your situation. For example, people stalked or harassed by a co-worker or roommate may ask the court for protection under this order.
- Workplace Violence Restraining Order: This order is intended for employers to request protection for an employee against stalking, harassment, or violence.
As you can see, there are different types of order of protection. In addition, the kind of protection you need will depend on your relationship with the person you want to file the order against.
The length of time an order of protection applies depends on the type of restraining order. For example, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders may last anywhere from seven days to five years.
An Emergency Protective Order may only last up to seven calendar days (or five business days). This order is intended to bridge the gap between when the emergency need for protection arises and when the protected person can appeal to the court for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
A Temporary (ex parte) Restraining Order applies to the time between when the order is requested and when the parties will return to court for a hearing.
After the hearing, the judge may grant a Restraining Order After Hearing, which may last up to five years. If the court specifies no end date, the order lasts three years. However, you may request that the judge extend the end date by another five years or permanently.
If a temporary (ex parte) order is issued by the court, it will last until your court date. This is typically 21 days but may be up to 25 days.
At the final hearing, the judge will determine whether to cancel or extend the order of protection. If it’s extended, it may last up to five years.
Sometimes, the court may issue a temporary order to grant protection until the hearing date. After the hearing, the judge will determine whether a longer protection order is warranted. The final order may last up to five years. If no end date is specified, the order expires after three years.
An order or protection against workplace violence may last up to three years. A temporary order may be issued to offer protection until the final hearing and may include protection against a family member or other employees.
Situations can escalate quickly, and some behaviors can become dangerous without much warning. If you feel you may need the court’s protection against another individual, trust your gut and contact an experienced attorney to help you make the right decisions.
Attorney Bruce A. Mandel has over thirty years of experience helping to protect clients and keeping them and their families safe with order of protections, along with other family matters.