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I Was Served With A Restraining Order. Can I Recover My Belongings From The Residence?

I Was Served With A Restraining Order. Can I Recover My Belongings From The Residence?

A protective order also referred to as a restraining order, is a court-ordered decision made by a judge to protect a victim of a crime or witness a crime. An order of protection and a violation of said order can be quite serious. Most restraining orders are domestic-related and stem from issues such as domestic violence and abuse. Due to the familiarity of the parties involved, these cases can be pretty complicated.

If someone serves you with a restraining order, you must know what is in the order, including restrictions and instructions. Violating any element of the order can lead you as the defendant in more trouble down the line, including possible jail time.

What Are The Terms And Provisions Of A Protective Order?

If a judge issues a restraining order, the defendant or restrained person must abide by the terms of that order. Many protective orders require that the defendant stay away from the victim that the order is protecting. This no-contact provision usually includes both indirect as well as direct contact.

A restraining order may also ask that the restrained person leave the family home. As you can imagine, such move-out orders can have significant implications such as not seeing one’s children, to more minor implications such as not recovering personal items. Regardless of the specific terms of the protective order, the restrained person must refrain from disobeying the order.

If you have an order of protection placed against you, there are legal measures and methods in place that will allow you as the restrained person to be heard by the judge and raise any concerns you may have. One of the primary issues, especially when the parties share a home, is recovering personal belongings without violating the order.

How To Recover Your Personal Belongings With An Order Of Protection?

Most restraining orders stem from disputes and allegations of abuse between family members or domestic partners. Due to the close relationships, the protected person and the restrained person may reside in the same home. The defendant may have some of their belongings in the very place they are forbidden to go. This situation causes confusion and angst.

The first thing to keep in mind in this situation is that even if your belongings are in your home, you cannot simply go and pick up your possessions if you share that home with the alleged victim. Under California law, you may not under any circumstances disobey the judge’s decision and violate any protective order placed against you.

Getting An Escort To Recover Your Belongings

Although by law, you are not to be near the protected party, there are some exceptions when it comes to obtaining specific personal possessions. If you have a restraining order placed against you and have some personal belongings you need, there are ways to get them. If you need to retrieve your belongings, for example, you may ask the judge to allow a police escort, also known as a civil standby.

The judge will sign a property removal order that will identify what can be removed and at what time. Upon receiving this order, the restrained person can contact law enforcement to accompany them to the place of residence.

The order will instruct the accompanying police officer as to what items can be removed from the home. By law, there are also restrictions regarding entry, even in the presence of law enforcement. Law enforcement cannot allow the restrained person entry into the residence without consent and the presence of the protected person or a representative.

What Happens When The Restraining Order Expires Or Ends

It is important to note that two types of restraining orders, temporary and permanent, have expiration dates. Although called permanent, a permanent restraining order will not usually exceed five years, with most falling short of that when an order of protection expires, the provisions and terms of the order end as well.

The Bottom Line

Domestic violence cases, including those involving protective orders, are essential to contact a knowledgeable attorney. If a restraining order has been placed against you, you must know and understand all of the provisions contained within it. It is also essential to know the law and your rights.

California-based attorney Bruce A. Mandel has over 30 years of experience in family law practice. Attorney Mandel has helped file restraining orders as well as defend the restrained person. It is imperative to find an attorney that will listen to you and fight for you. Contact Attorney Bruce A. Mandel today for a consultation, or follow him on Facebook for more information.