If a person is the victim of domestic violence in California, they can request a restraining order, also known as a protective order. A protective order can ensure that the abuser cannot contact the victim for a period of time.
Forms of domestic violence
While domestic violence can include physical harm or the threat of physical harm, those are not the only situations that may require a protective order. A victim may request a protective order where they are suffering from emotional or psychological abuse, like harassment, threats or stalking.
They may also request a protective order if their child is danger of harm or if the victim is experiencing financial abuse.
Requesting a protective order
To request a protective order, the victim will need to complete a form which will ask for information about the situation, including the victim’s relationship with the abuser. The abuser will need to receive a copy of the paperwork, called service. An independent process server can do this on the victim’s behalf.
In some situations, the court can issue a temporary protective order which will go into effect right away. These are used when the victim is in immediate danger.
The court will hold a hearing to determine whether to put a permanent order in place. Usually, each party will have an opportunity to attend the hearing.
If the restrained person violates the order, the victim should contact law enforcement, keep a record of the violations and can go back to court. The court may find a violator in contempt of court.