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How Much Does a Restraining Order in California Cost?

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Getting a restraining order in California can feel like a complicated process, including the part where you figure out if you have to pay the court for its time and services. The cost for a restraining order will vary depending on the details of your case and the type of restraining order you need. Some restraining orders essentially have no filing fee, and others can cost more than $400 to file.

Restraining Order Costs without Domestic Violence

The main factor that determines the cost of a restraining order in California is the accusation of violence or domestic violence—or the lack of such an accusation. If you want a restraining order against someone but have not been injured, threatened, or stalked by them, you will likely have to pay a filing fee. California courts can impose a fee between $435 and $450 (circa 2024) to file for a restraining order without alleging “violence, stalking, or threats of violence.”

Restraining Order Costs with Domestic Violence

The court can waive the filing fee for a restraining order if you have alleged that the person you are targeted with the order has:

  • Been violent toward you or hurt you physically;
  • Stalked you; and/or,
  • Used credible threats of violence against you.

When filling out the restraining order (CH-100), you must review and check the boxes for items 13, 13a, and 13b, which indicate that you are alleging violence is involved in your case. If the judge agrees that your allegations are truthful, you won’t have to pay the filing fee. Also, if the judge waives your filing fee, you can ask the sheriff to serve the restrained person with the order at no additional fee.

If you aren’t sure how to convince the judge that your allegations of violence, threats, or stalking are credible, you should talk to a domestic violence attorney. You can handle court processes with the guidance and representation of a lawyer, so you can have them explain to the court why you need a restraining order and how that justifies the filing fee waiver.

Restraining Order Fee Waivers for Financial Hardships

A $450 filing fee for a restraining order can feel steep for most people. If you don’t think you can reasonably afford the filing fee, you can ask to have it waived.

The judge may waive the filing fee for a restraining order, even when there has been no violence toward you, if you can show that:

  • You receive public benefits;
  • You earn a low income or low fixed income; or,
  • You can’t afford the fee while still paying for basic needs.

To ask for this specific waiver, you will have to check item boxes 13 and 13c on the CH-100 form, as well as submit forms FW-001 and FW-003. Want to make sure that you fill these forms out correctly? You can review and complete them with your domestic violence lawyer.

Legal Guidance If You Need a Restraining Order

Gill Law Group, PC can help you file for a restraining order in Orange County California. We’re here to explain everything and prepare you for any complications or details, including how much you might need to pay in filing fees. We can also review your situation and see if your filing should qualify for the filing fee waiver. Once your restraining order is sorted, we would be happy to talk to you about any other family law or divorce issues you might need to handle if the person you are targeting with the order is a spouse or family member.

Learn more about our legal services and your options when filing for a restraining order by calling (949) 681-9952 or contacting our firm online.

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