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How to Get a Restraining Order in California


If you believe that your spouse or family member could become aggressive or violent, possibly due to a pending family law dispute, you might want to file for a temporary restraining order. If you have already been abused or victimized by some form of domestic violence, or if your children have been neglected by your spouse, you should call the authorities as soon as it is safe to do so. Never do anything that puts yourself or your loved ones into danger.

If matters do escalate to the point where the police need to be summoned to your household right away, you can request an emergency order of protection from any of the responding officers. An emergency order of protection automatically removes the offender from the residence for 24 or 48 hours. At the end of this duration, a hearing will take place in family law court to determine if a temporary or permanent restraining order is necessary.

Temporary & Permanent Orders of Protection

A temporary order of protection is an extended form of an emergency order, as it typically expires in 2 to 3 weeks’ time. Once again, at the end of this duration, a court will hear arguments from either side – or just the petitioner if there is clear evidence of violence – and decide to either drop the protection order or make it permanent. Temporary restraining orders can also be created at any time by talking to your local county clerk or sheriff’s department.

If a permanent restraining order is created, it can only be lifted through further legal action. Courts greatly resist lifting restraining orders, even if the originally petitioner requests it, as the request could be the direct result of undue influence from the abuser.

What Do Restraining Orders Do?

No matter how long a restraining order lasts, it will create strict limitations the accused offender must follow.

Restrictions applied by an order of protection control:

  • Who the offender can contact (no contact with petitioner or children)
  • Where the offender can go (not near petitioner’s home, school, or workplace)
  • Weapons the offender can carry (usually bans loaded firearms)
  • Minimum distance offender must keep from the petitioner

If the offender violates the restraining order, even if they are never convicted or even charged with domestic violence, they have broken the law. Consequences for the resulting charges for violating an order of protection include jail time and fines paid to the state.

Do you need help created a restraining order to protect yourself and your family from harm? Our Orange County family law attorneys from Gill Law Group, PC take cases such as these very seriously, for we know that your wellbeing and security could be at stake. Contact us online for a complimentary initial consultation to learn about your rights and what you should do next.