Nobody deserves to be subjected to abuse. If you have been threatened by another person or have experienced physical violence, then you may be able to obtain a restraining order to legally prohibit the individual from contacting you or coming within a prescribed distance of your residence. If you are considering filing for a restraining order, the team of knowledgeable attorneys at Diaz Law Firm can review your situation, discuss your legal options, and help you move forward with the process. Consider contacting our Los Angeles office today, at (626) 261-0402, to move forward with protecting your safety and well-being.
Who Are We?
At Diaz Law Firm, we place an emphasis on our core values in all aspects of our practice. We believe in and are committed to:
- Equality. All people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, always.
- Partnership with Justice. We pursue justice and work to transform society by challenging inequity, misconduct, and wrongdoing.
- Peace. We strive to handle all cases peacefully, rather than keeping score.
- Self-Criticism. Continuously improving our client service, office systems, and legal practice is a priority for us. Our experiences inform our practice and we implement the lessons we learn every step of the way.
Our attorneys work tirelessly to bring dignity to the legal profession, ensuring that our clients feel heard and understood. We passionately advocate for the rights of individuals who have been victims of abuse and mistreatment, and we guide our clients through their legal issues with compassion and trust at the forefront.
What Does a Restraining Order Do?
In California, a restraining order is used to protect a specific person (known as the protected party) from harassment or abuse by another person (known as the restrained party). Filing a restraining order is a formal legal procedure, and judges routinely utilize restraining orders in cases where there is either credible violence or threats of violence. Under Penal Code 273.6, violating any terms of the restraining order is a crime, and carries financial penalties or even jail time.
What Types of Restraining Orders Are Available in California?
Before filing a restraining order, it is important to understand the different types of protections that are available under state law. The state of California has established several types of restraining orders to cover different types of victimization. Specifically, four types of restraining orders are recognized under California Law:
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
It is possible to obtain a domestic violence restraining order when the victim has a close relationship with the abuser. Under the law, a close relationship can be defined as:
- Domestic partners
- Closely related, such as parents, siblings, or in-laws
- In a relationship or formerly in a relationship
- Co-parents of a shared child
- Living together or formerly living together, with a closer relationship than mere roommates
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
Civil harassment restraining orders are available in situations where one individual is being abused, threatened, harassed, or stalked by another person. Unlike in domestic violence cases, this type of restraining order cannot be obtained if the victim and the abuser have a close relationship.
Elder Abuse Restraining Order
In situations where the victim is aged 65 or older and is the victim of neglect, physical injury, or deprivation by a caregiver, elder abuse restraining order may be used to prevent this abuse. This form of restraining order can also be used when the victim is under the age of 65 and has mental and/or physical disabilities that prevent them from engaging in typical day-to-day activities.
Workplace Violence Restraining Order
These types of restraining orders are available to employers who have received credible evidence that one or more of their employees are experiencing violence or threats of violence from another individual (Code of Civil Procedure §527.8). It should be noted that an employee is not permitted to seek a workplace violence restraining order on their own behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions
At Diaz Law, we pride ourselves on providing reliable information to our current and prospective clients. Some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive regarding filing a restraining order in California include the following:
What Is the Difference Between a Restraining Order and a Protective Order?
In California, the terms restraining order and protective order are typically used interchangeably. There is a legal distinction between the two, however. This distinction lies in which court the order is issued. Generally, a restraining order is issued in civil matters. Protective orders, on the other hand, are granted in criminal proceedings to protect the victim of abuse from other violent activity.
What Proof Do You Need for a Restraining Order?
When you file for a restraining order, it will begin as a temporary restraining order. The proof required to obtain a temporary restraining order is quite low, and the courts will simply ask for statements regarding the type of abuse or harassment that has occurred. Not much evidence is required in order to obtain a temporary restraining order because these orders are not permanent and they involve situations that can be extremely dangerous.
To obtain a permanent restraining order, however, further evidence of abuse or harassment is necessary. Any individual seeking this type of order must be prepared to present evidence, written statements, and testimony in court. Photographs, text messages, emails, and other physical evidence may be called upon in these cases. The evidence must be clear and convincing.
The “clear and convincing” standard of proof is for civil harassment restraining order cases. However, for cases involving a request for a domestic violence restraining order, the standards of proof are lower, “preponderance of the evidence,” showing only that “more likely than not,” the abuse allegedly happened.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last?
If your restraining order is temporary, it will last until the date of your case’s first hearing. If you are granted a permanent restraining order, it can remain in effect for a specified amount of time, ranging from a few months to five years. The order will expire after the period set, but if you feel you still need the restraining order, you may file a renewal within 3 months before the end of the expiration.
Hiring an Attorney Near You Who Can Help with Filing a Restraining Order
Experiencing abuse at the hands of another person can leave you feeling isolated, anxious, and fearful for your safety. If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse, harassment, stalking, or other violence, you are not alone. The team of experienced attorneys at Diaz Law Firm can help you navigate the process of filing a restraining order to ensure that you obtain the legal protection you need. To learn more, consider contacting us at (626) 261-0402 today.