Restraining orders are used in a variety of situations to help protect victims from potentially dangerous individuals who have harmed, tried to harm, or have directed threatening or dangerous actions at them. Assault, harassment, and domestic violence cases are some of the most common cases involving restraining orders, as they are used as a form of protection for the victims. If you are dealing with another individual who has harmed, threatened to harm, or harassed you, do not wait to seek legal action to file a restraining order.
Here’s what you need to know about filing a restraining order in California and the proof you need to do so.
What Is a Restraining Order?
Restraining orders, commonly referred to as “protective orders” in California, are legal orders used to prohibit specific behavior coming from another individual. The person filing the order is known as the “protected person,” whereas the individual whom it is filed against is referred to as the “restrained person.” Restraining orders are most commonly filed when a protected person has experienced stalking, abuse, harassment, or threats from the person who is being restrained. Once a restraining order becomes active, the restrained party can face severe legal consequences if they violate the order in place. This helps to give the protected party peace of mind.
Different Types of Restraining Orders in California
The state of California recognizes four main kinds of restraining orders that individuals are able to file, which are:
- Domestic Violence Protective OrdersYou are eligible to file for a domestic violence restraining order if you have been abused by another individual whom you share a personal relationship with.
- Elder Abuse / Dependent Adult Abuse Protective OrdersYou are eligible to file an elder abuse or dependent adult abuse restraining order if you are over the age of 65 or if you are between 18 and 64 with a qualifying disability and have been the victim of abuse or poor treatment.
- Civil Harassment Protective OrdersCivil harassment protective orders are used when someone who is not closely related to you is harassing or threatening you. These orders can be used for abuse, harassment, stalking, threatening, and other dangerous behaviors directed at you. You can file them against individuals you don’t know, distant relatives, and people outside of your close relationships.
- Workplace Violence Protective OrdersWorkplace violence protective orders are filed by employers who are looking to prohibit an employee’s inappropriate or dangerous behavior toward another employee. This kind of protective order can only be filed by an employer and not an employee. If an employee also wants to file a protective order, they would have to use a civil harassment order. A workplace violence protective order is used when there is blatant violence, harassment, or threats directed at an employee.
What Proof Do I Need to File a Restraining Order?
California offers temporary restraining orders that do not often require victims to provide heavy proof or evidence. These temporary orders can be implemented when a case is filed, but they will expire once the initial hearing of the case takes place. However, if you would like to file an extended protective order, you’ll have to provide ample evidence for your claims. The evidence required will depend on the type of order you are requesting and the actions of the party you are trying to restrain, but it should be clear and convincing regardless. Types of proof that can aid in your filing a protective order include:
- Threatening, violent, or harassing, texts, emails, or voicemails
- Previous calls to 911 or domestic violence hotlines
- Records of previous medical emergencies or injuries that occurred because of the other party
- Photos of previous medical emergencies, injuries, or wounds caused by the other party
- Police reports about the other party
- Eyewitnesses who have observed the other party’s dangerous behavior
How Long Does a Protective Order Last in California?
If your protective order is temporary, it will only last until your case’s first hearing. If you are granted an extended protection order, it may in effect anywhere from a few months to five years. After five years, the order will expire, and you’ll have to file for a new one if you want the protection to continue.
What Happens If Someone Violates My Restraining Order in California?
If the restrained party knowingly and willfully violates the terms of the restraining order against them, they can face legal consequences such as hefty fines and jail or prison time. You can also call the police to have them arrested if you either believe or are witnessing the other party violate the order.
What Is a Stay-Away Order?
Restraining orders can prohibit certain forms of personal conduct, they can implement “stay-away measures,” or they can be used to evict an individual from their living quarters. A stay-away order is used to keep the restrained party either a certain distance away at all times or away from certain locations such as your home, work, or school.
What Is an Emergency Protective Order?
An emergency protective order (EPO) is a type of protection order granted in serious situations where an individual is afraid they will be harmed or if they were harmed already. These kinds of orders can last seven calendar days or five business days, allowing the victim to gather themselves before filing for an extended protection order.
Restraining Order Assistance and Legal Representation in Vista, CA
No one deserves to feel unsafe, whether it be at their home, work, or in their daily life. At Paula d. Kleinman, A Professional Law Corporation, our team is devoted to protecting our clients and offering legal services that can make a difference in their life. With decades of experience, Attorney Paula D. Kleinman has helped countless clients through difficult times and is prepared to find a solution that can help you, too. If you’re looking to file a restraining order here in Vista or you’re interested in our family law services, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case evaluation today.