A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is an order by a judge in civil court requiring that an abuser stop abusing the victim or suffer serious legal consequences. The order offers protection to both male and female victims of abuse.
There are three types of domestic violence restraining orders: emergency protective order, temporary restraining order and restraining order after hearing.
In a situation of domestic abuse, if you call a police officer to your residence, the officer can contact a judge at any hour of the day or night to get an emergency protective order that becomes effective immediately. If the judge believes there is an immediate danger of spousal or child abuse or child kidnapping, the judge can issue an emergency protective order.
This type of order lasts a maximum of five business or seven calendar days, whichever is shorter. The purpose of this type of order is to give the victim time to seek from the court a DVRO, which would last longer than the emergency order. Under an emergency protective order, just like under a DVRO, the judge can require that the abuser leave the residence immediately and have no contact with the victim.
The victim must go to court to request a DVRO. It often can take three weeks before the victim is supposed to return to court to have a full hearing. If he or she is in present danger and needs protection immediately, the court can issue a temporary restraining order, which requires that the abuser leave the residence at once and have no further contact with the victim until the DVRO is issued.
After the hearing to get a DVRO, the judge can issue a “restraining order after hearing” that can last as long as five years if the judge so rules. If the judge does not give a termination date for the restraining order, it lasts three years. The victim may ask the court for an extension of the restraining order or request a permanent DVRO.
For more information, please contact The Edmunds Law Firm. Our San Diego family law attorneys can help you understand your legal rights when dealing with a restraining order.