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Frequently Asked Questions About Restraining Orders in Domestic Violence Cases in California

Domestic violence is violence committed against one’s intimate partner. Most people think that domestic violence means physical abuse committed against an intimate partner in a domestic setting. But in reality, domestic violence can take many forms such as verbal abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse, etc.

The following are some of the frequently asked questions relating to restraining orders in domestic violence cases in the State of California.

What is Domestic Violence?

Under California Penal Code section 13700 read along with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, domestic violence is abuse committed by a person against the following people:

  1. Spouse, or
  2. Former spouse, or
  3. Cohabitant, or
  4. Former cohabitant, or
  5. A Person with whom the suspect has had a child or
  6. A Person with whom the suspect is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.
  7. A child of any above-mentioned party or such child on whom the provisions of the Uniform Parentage Act applies and where it is presumed that the male partner is the father of such child.
  8. A person who is related to the offender either by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.
What is a Restraining Order?

Generally speaking, a restraining order is an order of a competent court that is issued to protect a particular person, object, organization, entity, etc from alleged criminal acts such as stalking, abuse, assault, harassment, etc. It is also known as a Protective Order.

How Many Types of Restraining Orders Are There?

Restraining orders can be of many types. Some main examples are as follows:

  1. Domestic violence restraining order.
  2. Civil harassment restraining order
  3. Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order.
  4. Workplace violence restraining order.
What is the Use of a Restraining Order?

Any restraining order can serve the following purposes:

  1. Restrain a person from contacting any person including children, relatives, and cohabitants of such person.
  2. Restraint a person from visiting any person’s home, workplace, or school of children.
  3. Compel a person to move out of shared living space.
  4. Compel a person to pay child support or follow the orders of a competent court relating to child support or visitation.
  5. Compel a person to pay parent or spousal support.
  6. Compel a person to pay certain bills.
  7. Compel a person to keep their distance from your pets.
  8. Compel a person to return certain property.
  9. Compel a person to not to keep any firearms.
What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A domestic violence restraining order is a protective order made by a competent court that protects people from possible future acts of abuse, threats, or assaults from such person with whom the applicant has an intimate or close relationship.

A person can be said to be in a close relationship if they are married, or they were married and by now they are divorced or separated, or they are dating or they used to date each other, or they were living together or they used to live together and shared an intimate relationship, or they have parented a child together, or they are closely related.

What are the Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

The following are the types of Domestic Violence Restraining Order that are generally issued by a court:

  1. Emergency Protective Order (EPO) – It is an order issued on the request of the law enforcement agencies. Such orders are passed while addressing a domestic violence complaint any officer thinks that it is in the best interest of the victim to get protection.
  2. Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) – It is an order made by a judge on the request of a person and after due verification, the judge can pass a temporary restraining order.
  3. Criminal Protective Order or “Stay-Away” Order – It is an order that is passed during the pendency of a criminal proceeding against an abuser.
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