In California, if a person is a victim of domestic violence or abuse, there are steps they can follow to obtain a restraining order. The order may prevent the alleged abuser from contacting the victim, it may require them to stay a certain distance away from the victim or require them to move out of the home they share with the victim.
Restraining order process
The person who is requesting the domestic violence restraining order will usually fill out a request form and file it with the clerk at the court in the county where they live. A judge will review the request and determine whether the situation requires immediate action. If it does, the judge can order a temporary restraining order, which provides protection for the victim until the court can hold a full hearing.
The alleged abuser must be served a copy of the order. When the court holds a full hearing, each party can provide evidence, like photos, documents or witness statements. If the court finds that the victim has been abused, it will issue the order. It may also decide to issue a permanent restraining order.
Enforcing the order
If the abuser violates the order, there are several options to address it. The court can find the abuser in contempt of court, which can result in fines or jail time. It may also require the abuser to perform community service.
The court can also change the existing order if the victim needs more protection. If a person needs a domestic violence restraining order, there is help available.