DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER
Domestic Violence can occur between spouses, individuals in a dating relationship, parents of a child, members of a household and family members. If actions by another have caused you to fear your safety, you have the right to request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
A Domestic Violence Retraining Order is issued to put an end to the “abuse” by the other party. Abuse can be in the form of engaging in behavior such as stalking, threatening, battering, destroying personal property, disturbing the peace, attacking or molesting. Sexual assault and attempting to intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury are other examples of abuse.
The acts of abuse that you allege occurred must be recent in order for the court to consider granting a request for a Domestic Violence Retraining Order.
There is no court fee associated with a request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
OBTAINING A RESTRAINING ORDER
Requesting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
After completing the request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order packet, the Judge will determine whether a temporary restraining order (TRO) is warranted. If a Judge finds there is enough evidence to grant a TRO, your restraining order will be in effect for three – four weeks until a hearing can be set for the court to decide whether a permanent restraining order should be ordered.
Possible Temporary Orders:
The TRO can contain temporary child custody and visitation orders. For example, the court may order that the alleged offender have no contact or supervised contact only with the minor child(ren). If that is the case, the order will set out the specific terms for such visitation. If supervised visitation is ordered, it is likely the other party will be responsible for any and all costs associated with a professional supervisor.
The court may order that the alleged offender be removed from any residence in which you are currently residing, even if the alleged offender holds title or is the named “renter” of such property.
If the other party owns or is in possession of firearms, the TRO will require that the individual turn the firearms over the Sheriff and provide proof to the court.
A TRO can grant the protected party the right to record any and all conversations between them and the alleged offender while the TRO is in effect.
Additional temporary orders may be made depending on the specifics of your case.
Service of Temporary Restraining Order
After the court grants the temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the Sheriff’s Department will effectuate personal service of the court orders on the other party. Any individual over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action also has the ability to serve the TRO on the restrained party.
The other party is entitled to know of the court’s orders and the next court date. Once the other party is served with the TRO, the TRO is in place and the other party is barred from contacting you pursuant to the orders contained in your TRO.
After being served with the court documents, the other party will have an opportunity to prepare their responsive documents and have them served on the protected party and the court. These documents must be served on the requesting party at least two (2) days prior to the hearing. If these responsive documents are not provided timely, the requesting party may have the right to request a continuance to review and respond to the alleged offender’s responsive documents.
It is important that you contact the police if the other party tries to make contact with you after they have been served with the court documents.
At the court hearing, the Judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to put a permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Order in place.
During the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and testify regarding the alleged incidents.
It is important to have an experienced, family law attorney on your side to assist with your hearing to help ensure that a permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Order is ordered by the Judge. Knowledgeable family law attorneys know how to structure your case to present you in the best way to the Judge and make sure the court understands the significance of the other party’s bad acts that caused the need for the restraining order.
“Safe at Home” Program
A victim of domestic violence may apply for the “Safe at Home” program which is governed by the Secretary of State’s office in California. This program provides a mailing address to use for the protected party’s court documents, voter registration documents, and driver’s license. First-class and government mail is provided to the individual within 48 hours of receipt. This service is available for up to four (4) years.
Domestic violence is a real threat that plagues many families today. If you have been a victim of this crime, you need to seek the help of a compassionate and experienced family law attorney who will protect you and your rights. Contact an Oceanside domestic Violence attorneys with Fischer & Van Thiel at 760-722-7646 to get the security you need.