What is a restraining order?
A restraining order is a legally enforceable order from the court that prohibits an individual (the restrained person) from engaging in abusive activities or conduct against another person (the protected person). “Abuse” as applied to restraining orders can mean a number of things. Abuse can be:
- Excessive and inappropriate contact (e.g. phone calls, emails, texts, social media interaction) or stalking
- Physical abuse, whether sexual or otherwise
- Verbal or physical threats of violence
- Destruction of property
- Other inappropriate conduct
There are three main prohibitions that a restraining order can place on a party: restraints on personal conduct, stay-away orders, and residence exclusion orders.
A personal conduct order prevents the restrained party from engaging in activities directed at a protected party or person. It prohibits the restrained party from engaging in some sort of act or conduct that would otherwise be allowed. The court will prohibit the restrained party from carrying on with the abusive activity.
A stay-away order is exactly what it sounds like; an order that the restrained party must stay away from the protected party for a set period of time, and at a set distance. Sometimes abuse is not so much about physical interaction, but the perceived or actual threat of physical or emotional violence or abuse. These orders take into consideration the role that proximity can play in an abusive relationship. Schools, places of employment, residences, vehicles, and other places that are relevant to the protected person’s daily life are all areas that the restrained party may be prohibited from visiting.
Finally, residence exclusion orders force the restrained party to vacate the house, apartment, or dwelling of the protected party. This type of relief is reserved for situations involving either domestic violence or elder abuse. If a party is served with a residence exclusion order, they are allowed to take only personal belongings (like clothing and other necessities) and are not allowed to return until after the court hearing.
Under what circumstances may a person file a Restraining Order in California?
There are four circumstances a person may file a restraining order in California, each based on the relationship you have with your abuser. The different relationships that are determined by the following elements:
Domestic Violence: To file a domestic violence based restraining order, the applicant must have been abused by someone with whom he or she has a close relationship. In determining whether the parties are closely related, the court will consider factors such as whether the parties are married or are registered domestic partners, whether they are divorced or dating (past or present), whether the parties are cohabiting, or if they are related by blood or law.
How can Sonoma County LDA help you file a Restraining Order in California?
The process of filing a restraining order can be simplified by having the team Sonoma County LDA prepare the necessary forms for you. As one of California’s premier legal document assistance services, the staff at Sonoma County LDA have decades of experience in providing cost-effective assistance to our clients hoping to avoid the hassle of dealing with an attorney. If you are considering filing a restraining order, or need help with any other legal documents, let A Sonoma County LDA take the additional stress of preparing the paperwork out of the equation for you. Call today and we can start your paperwork right away.