A domestic violence restraining order is a legal tool used to protect an individual from ongoing physical or emotional abuse from a current or former partner, family member, or household member. In Orange County, California, a person may request a restraining order to protect themselves from domestic violence. This article provides an overview of the process for obtaining a domestic violence restraining order in Orange County.
Step 1: Understanding Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. It can take many forms, including physical violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse, stalking, and economic abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, it is important to reach out for help and protection.
Step 2: Contacting the Police
If you are in immediate danger, contact the police by dialing 911. Law enforcement can help you get to a safe place, as well as gather evidence of the abuse to support your case for a restraining order.
Step 3: Filing for a Restraining Order
A person seeking a domestic violence restraining order can file a request with the Superior Court of California, including those located in Orange County. The request is usually made in person. Some courts permit electronic submission. If granted, a restraining order is valid on a temporary basis and is effective immediately, pending a hearing in court.
Step 4: Attending a Hearing
The person who requested the restraining order must attend a hearing in court, where a judge will consider the evidence and decide whether to issue a permanent restraining order. The responding party has the right to present their case, including any witnesses and other evidence of the alleged acts of abuse. Either party may have a family law lawyer represent them in court, though they are not required to have one.
Step 5: Obtaining a Permanent Restraining Order
If the judge (or commissioner) finds that the person seeking the restraining order has proven their case, the court will issue a permanent restraining order. The order will remain in effect for a set period of time, typically up to five years. A permanent restraining order can include provisions such as:
- Prohibiting the abuser from contacting or coming near the person seeking the order
- Ordering the abuser to stay away from the person’s home, work, or school
- Awarding temporary custody of children and support payments
- Requiring the abuser to surrender any firearms
Step 6: Enforcing the Restraining Order
If the person against whom the restraining order was issued violates the terms of the order, the person seeking the order can contact law enforcement for assistance. The police can arrest the person for violating the order, and they can also face criminal charges for domestic violence.
Obtaining a domestic violence restraining order in Orange County, California, is a process that includes filing a request for the order, attending a hearing in court, and obtaining a permanent restraining order if the alleged abuse is proven. If the terms of the order are violated, the person seeking the order can enforce it with the help of law enforcement. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, it is important to reach out for help and protection.