Restraining Orders in San Diego

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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.

Who Can Be Charged With A Restraining Order?

  • In order to get a domestic violence protective order in California, someone must be:
  • A current or former spouse
  • A boyfriend or girlfriend
  • A person with whom you have a child in common
  • A person you live or lived with
  • A person related to you by blood or marriage

Actions That Can Lead to a DVRO

  • Under California family law, the abuser must commit or have committed one of the following actions:
  • Caused or tried to cause physical injury
  • Assaults you sexually
  • Makes you afraid that you or someone else is in danger of immediate and serious physical injury
  • Stalks or uses force against you, including molestation, attacks, strikes or batters
  • Either harasses or threatens to harass you (It can be done by telephone, mail or email and does not have to be done in person)
  • Destroys your personal property
  • Disturbs your peace

Types of Restraining Orders

There are three types of domestic violence restraining orders: emergency protective order, temporary restraining order and restraining order after hearing.

Emergency Protective Order

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.

Temporary Restraining Order

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.

Restraining Order After Hearing

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.