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Restraining Orders in California

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What Is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, also known as a “protective order,” is ordered by the court to help protect an individual from being assaulted sexually, physically, threatened, stalked, or harassed. They are set into place to ensure the abuser stays away from the victims. Sometimes, restraining orders can include not just the “protected person” but can also extend to family and other household members. There are three main types of restraining orders in California.

Types of Restraining Orders

Emergency Protective Order (EPO)

A law enforcement office can only order this type of restraining order if a law enforcement officer believes that a person requiring protection is in immediate danger from an abuser. Because of this, judges are required to be available 24 hours so that they can issue an EPO upon request. The purpose of this type of restraining order is to give the victim time to safely apply for a different kind of restraining order that is enforceable for longer periods.

As a stipulation by Family code section 6251, a judge can only issue an emergency restraining order if specific criteria have been established:

  • An elderly person or dependent adult is in immediate danger.
  • The EPO will prevent the abduction of a child.
  • The EPO will prevent domestic violence or abuse of a child.
  • There is sufficient evidence to convince a judicial officer there is a threat of domestic violence present.

Time Period of an EPO

Once an emergency protective order is in place, it takes effect immediately and can be enforced for one week. If the abuser lives in the home, the judge can order them to vacate the premises for the duration.

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

A temporary restraining order is issued by a judge when they believe the victim is in immediate danger. Its purpose is to keep the individual safe while the court reviews the case to schedule a hearing.

Time Period of an TRO

This type of restraining order is enforceable for 20-25 days. After the period is over, there will be a court hearing where a judge will need to determine if a permanent restraining order is necessary.

Permanent Restraining Order (PRO)

This restraining order cannot be issued until a temporary restraining order precedes it. A court hearing must be held to discuss the necessity of this type of protection where the judge faces the task of determining whether or not the person pursuing a permanent restraining order is in danger. Both the victim and abuser will receive a notice for the court hearing, and both are required to attend. If the alleged abuser fails to show, the judge is more likely to rule in favor of the victim.

Types of Permanent Restraining Orders

  • Elder Abuse
  • Civil Harassment
  • Domestic Violence
  • Workplace Violence

Time Period of a PRO

Permanent Restraining Orders vary in length of time. It can be lifted under California Law. However, it will need to be lifted through a court process. Lifting a restraining order requires consent from the person who filed the motion and proves they are not being forced to request the lifting.

At Stolar Law Group, we are committed to treating your family as our own while protecting what matters most. Our team is available to answer your questions and help you file a restraining order. Give us a call today. (818) 600-6534

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