In California, if you are threatened or abused by someone with whom you have a close personal relationship, you can seek the help of the court in keeping that person away from you. The tool used to keep that person away from you is called a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO), and it can be a very effective way to separate yourself from the person who is dangerous to you and/or your children. However, to ensure yourself the greatest possible chance at having the order issued, you should consider hiring an attorney who is experienced in petitioning for DVROs.
Why Do I Need a Court Order?
If a person has an otherwise lawful right to be in the same property as you, you cannot evict them without the help of the court. For example, if you and your significant other are both co-tenants on a lease, he or she would have an equal right to be in the property as you do.
A court order carries severe penalties for the person who defies it. Violating a restraining order is a crime, and the potential of going to jail can act as a deterrent from further contact with you.
Who Can I Get a DVRO Against?
Domestic violence cases involve someone who has a special relationship with you who has been abusing you or your child. Generally, this is a person who is one of the following:
- A spouse or ex-spouse;
- Someone who you live with or have lived with in the past;
- A current or former dating partner;
- The other parent of your child; OR
- A close blood relative.
“Abuse” in these cases generally means that you or your child need protection from one or more of these acts:
- Actual or attempted physical, emotional or psychological harm;
- Actual or attempted sexual assault;
- Fear that the person poses an imminent threat of serious harm you or another person; or
- Threats, harassment, stalking, destruction of your personal property or other similar behaviors.
Three Types of Relief
Restraining orders can take three forms, and an experienced attorney will be able to file the necessary documents with the court, track the different deadlines for the case, ensure the other party is served, and make the argument to the judge that you need the court’s protection. Here are the different types of DVROs:
1. Emergency Protective Order (EPO): An EPO is an immediate order that lasts five to seven days, which allows you to prepare your case for the court for a longer restraining order (one of the two options below). In some cities, such as San Francisco, police officers are empowered (with a judge’s approval) to issue the order at the scene of a suspected crime.
2. Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): An immediate order of up to 15 days in cases where you feel like you need additional time to be protected because the hearing date is too far beyond the end of the EPO. The hearing can be conducted “ex parte,” which means that you can have your case heard by the court without the other party being present at the hearing.
3. Permanent Restraining Order (PRO): After a full hearing in front of the court, you may be granted a “permanent” order, which requires the other person to stay away from you and your loved ones for up to five years. It is a renewable order, so the order can end up as a permanent order if it can be shown that the person continues to be a threat.
What Happens If the Order Is Issued?
If the court agrees with you, the court will issue one or more of these orders. In the cases of short term DVROs, the person will have to temporarily stay out of the residence you share, and refrain from contacting you for any reason. In a case where the DVRO is permanent, he or she will have to find a new home.
In most cases, the order may prohibit the person from contacting you, your children or other family members. He or she will not be allowed to go near your work or your children’s school, and will be restricted from possessing a firearm.
Contact the Domestic Violence Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich For Help
A restraining order is a useful instrument to help you regain control over your life if you are in a situation of domestic abuse, but the process is far from simple. That is why it is best to have an experienced attorney help you apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 35 years of experience in helping clients like you make their homes safe for them and their children. We work tirelessly and use all of our legal skill and knowledge to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome in their cases. Let our skilled attorneys and legal professionals help you, too.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced and skilled Wallin & Klarich domestic violence attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.
1 See San Francisco Police Department’s website for details: https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/get-service/restraining-order-information