Understanding the Process of Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in California

sad woman making phone call

If you have a domestic violence restraining order in California, you may be wondering what you need to do to keep it in effect. Restraining orders can provide important protection, but retaining them does require some effort on your part. Here’s what you need to know: 

Getting the Initial Restraining Order

The first step is obtaining the initial domestic violence restraining order, which provides protective orders for up to 5 years. To get a restraining order in California, you need to file the proper paperwork and attend a court hearing where a judge hears evidence and makes a decision on whether to grant the restraining order. 

As the protected party, you must show that you have a close relationship with the restrained person (such as a current or former spouse/partner) and that you have experienced abuse or threats from them to receive the orders. 

Requesting a Renewal

In California, domestic violence restraining orders expire as of the date the issuing judicial officer imposes (1 year, 2, years, etc.). Once your order expires, if you want your orders to last the full five years allowed, you will need to file a request to renew your restraining order. You must file this request only within the 90 days preceding the expiration of your order.  

The court will review your renewal application and decide whether to continue the orders for an additional time. You do not need to provide new evidence of abuse unless the judge requests it. As long as you can demonstrate you still need protection, the restraining order will likely be extended. 

Serving Notice on the Restrained Person

An important part of retaining your restraining order is making sure the restrained person is served if an extension is granted. This puts them on notice that the orders remain in effect. If authorities cannot serve notice, it weakens the power of the orders. 

Attending the Renewal Hearing

Prepare to attend the hearing on your renewal request. Going to the hearing shows the judge you still fear for your safety and want to keep the orders. Bring any evidence of recent violations or concerns supporting an extension. 

Following the Process

While retaining a restraining order does take some proactive steps, following this process allows you to maintain important legal protection. Many domestic violence organizations also have attorneys who can help guide you through the process as well. 

When obtaining a domestic violence restraining order, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights. At Feinberg & Waller, APC, our attorneys have extensive experience handling domestic violence cases and can provide you with the support and guidance you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Related Posts
  • What Are My Options If My Domestic Violence Restraining Order Is Expiring? Read More
  • What Happens to My Restraining Order If I Move Out of California? Read More
  • Cohabitation and Domestic Violence: The Basic Facts Read More

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