Restraining Order

How to Get Restraining Order in California

Whether it’s a former lover, a disturbed ex-friend or a random stalker, nothing is more frightening than a person who refuses to leave someone alone. Along with physical threats, a stalker might spread lies, send intimidating messages on social media or practice other disturbing forms of harassment. Sometimes, even after getting arrested, stalkers simply utilize the process of bail bonds and end up back on the street again.

At times, looking into restraining order California law might be necessary. The restraining order process can be overwhelming as first, but it’s important to follow these steps in order to gain the most legal protection possible. Some victims fear that the order won’t provide physical protection, but if nothing else, it can provide a legal paper trail that will show a record of the harassment.

Restraining Order Types: What is Needed?

There are numerous restraining order types, but most requests for help fit within the following situations. If the harassment in any of these scenarios is putting the victim in immediate danger, then an Emergency Protective Order might be needed. If the situation is serious but doesn’t present an immediate threat, a Temporary Restraining Order will most likely be issued.

  • A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is for situations involving spouses and former lovers.
  • A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is designed for people being harassed by people they’ve either never met or never been involved with.
  • A Workplace Violence Restraining Order is for situations involving an employer being harassed or threatened by former employees.

There are also restraining orders for elders who are being abused by caregivers, students who are being mistreated at post-secondary schools and people who’ve been deemed too dangerous to carry a gun.

Grounds for a Restraining Order: Gathering Evidence

Most people go through difficulties with the harassing party for a while before they seek help from the authorities. This is especially true in situations involving domestic violence. The more evidence gathered ahead of time, the better the results will be for the victim. Restraining order requirements include an immediate threat to physical or mental safety, so it’s crucial that a victim be able to prove this if they want an EPO. Screenshots of threatening text messages or posts on social media are good examples of qualifying evidence.

Restraining Order California Law: Making the Move

The first step after determining grounds for a restraining order have been met is to visit the local police station. If the victim doesn’t feel safe to leave the house due to the stalker being nearby, the police should be called. When they arrive to make a report, they should be alerted of the severity of the situation. It’s important to point out that this can only result in a temporary restraining order, meaning that it lasts a week. From here, the victim will need to continue the restraining order process to get further protection.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Court Hearing: Long-term Protection

When the victim goes to court, a judge will look over the restraining order requirements and compare them to the current situation. If it’s determined that the victim will continue to be in danger, a five-year protective order will most likely be granted. If the problems continue or there is any reason to believe that the victim is still not safe, the issue can be revisited in court, and an extension for the order can be requested. It’s possible to make restraining orders permanent in some situations, although it is quite rare.

Restraining Order California Cost: Funds for Protection

The courts understand that those under threat of domestic violence may not have the financial resources to help themselves, which is why fees are waived for this type of order. A victim shouldn’t have to take restraining order California cost into account when their life is in danger. The costs for a non-emergency Civil Harassment Order are $355. If a victim believes they’re in danger and can’t afford the fees, they should talk to the police about the situation when they file the order.

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