At Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. (SBI) we receive many inquires asking how to obtain a temporary restraining order and what the requirements are.
A temporary restraining order (TRO), also called a "protective order" is a short-term civil order issued by a judge in state or federal court. The order prohibits a person from engaging in a threatened action against someone else (typically having contact with someone else). TRO's are common in cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, divorce, stalking and harassment. A judge usually holds a hearing before issuing a temporary restraining order. The amount of time that a TRO is in effect is set by statute and usually ranges between two and thirty days.
A TRO is just one type of restraining order. A court may issue other types such as an emergency protective order or a move out order. An emergency protective order typically precedes a temporary restraining order which can be issued without a hearing and may be requested by a law enforcement officer. An emergency protective order usually is in effect for a week or less. A final order is issued after a full hearing at which the defendant and plaintiff are present and the order can last for years.
It's best to obtain a TRO within three weeks of any event the you feel threatens your safety. Do not wait six months to report an occurrence that you believed had put you in harm's way. It's always possible that a judge may feel that you waited too long to bring it to either law enforcement's or a judge's attention.
What does a restraining order do?
In general, restraining orders can include:
Personal conduct orders:
These are orders to stop specific acts against everyone named in the restraining order as a "protected person." Some of the things that the restrained person can be ordered to stop are:
- Contacting, calling, or sending any messages (including e-mail);
- Attacking, striking, or battering;
- Sexually assaulting;
- Destroying personal property; or
- Disturbing the peace of the protected people.
These are orders to keep the restrained person a certain distance away (like 50 or 100 yards) from:
- The protected person or persons;
- Where the protected person lives;
- His or her place of work;
- His or her children's schools or places of child care;
- His or her vehicle;
- Other important places where he or she goes.
Residence exclusion ("kick-out" or "move-out") orders:
These are orders telling the restrained person to move out from where the protected person lives and to take only clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing. These orders can only be asked for in domestic violence or elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order cases. If the restrained person violates (breaks) the restraining order, he or she may go to jail, or pay a fine, or both.
The following two links will assist you in obtaining a TRO:
California form DV-505-INFO – How Do I Ask For A Temporary Restraining Order? http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/dv505info.pdf
Note: This form is also available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
California form DV-110 – A fillable Temporary Restraining Order can be found at this link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/dv110.pdf
This blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this blog should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. We strongly recommend that people contact an attorney for legal advice relative to this specific area of expertise in the law.
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