A restraining order is a legal tool one person can use to prevent harassment or assault from another person. There are several reasons people file for restraining orders, and in California, there are three main types you can use.
Parties can file one of three types of restraining orders with the court:
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO): According to California Family Code Section 6250, an EPO is used by law enforcement to protect one party from another. These are usually the result of a police domestic violence call to a domicile. If law enforcement personnel deem the situation warrants, they will issue an EPO for the victim they believe to be in danger. An EPO can be issued 24/7 by law enforcement and serves as an immediate response to dangerous individuals. While an EPO is requested by law enforcement, it is executed by a judge. The judge will use a set of criteria to determine whether an EPO is necessary.
An EPO should meet the following criteria:
- Sufficient belief of current or possible domestic violence
- There is reasonable belief a child could be abused or abducted
- There is the reasonable belief an elderly or person of diminished capacity could be harmed
- An EPO will prevent further abuse, assault, or danger from occurring
- The EPO will prevent further abuse of an elderly or dependent adult
If the EPO's target lives in your home, the judge’s order will force them to vacate the premises for the period of the restraining order. In most cases, an EPO serves as a preliminary restraining order, giving the victim time to apply for a temporary order.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): A TRO will last between 20 to 25 days and provide coverage for the period between an inciting incident and your court date. At the end of the TRO, a judge will hear your case and determine whether or not you need a permanent restraining order.
- Permanent Restraining Order: A permanent restraining order is the last step in the restraining order process. It is usually preceded by an EPO and TRO. A court hearing is required before a permanent order can be issued. The judge will listen to the details of a case and decide regarding a permanent order. The length of time for a restraining order will vary by type.
There are two types of permanent restraining orders:
Civil Harassment Restraining Order: A court order protecting people from harm threatened by people not a part of their family. The order protects against violence, harassment, and stalking. A civil harassment restraining order is valid for three years.
You would file for a civil harassment order if:
- You’ve been abused, stalked, or harassed in a non-domestic situation
- You fear abuse or harassment by a non-familial individual
Domestic Violence Restraining Order: A court order protecting people from abuse or threats from someone with whom they have a close relationship. The order protects against violence, abuse, and stalking. A domestic violence harassment restraining order is valid for five years.
You would file for a domestic violence harassment order if:
- You have been abused by a person you are dating, married to, in a domestic partnership with, roommates with, a parental or custodial relationship with, or a divorced spouse.
- You have been threatened by a person you are dating, married to, in a domestic partnership with, roommates with, a parental or custodial relationship with, or a divorced spouse.
There are more situations that qualify for a domestic violence harassment order. Working with an attorney can help ensure you have the right protective documents in place for your situation. At Creative Family Solutions, we can help you work within the legal system to put safeguards in place for your situation. Call us today at (916) 675-3866 to schedule a consultation.