Although most dating violence goes unreported, under California law, couples are advised to seek justice whenever they feel that their partners are abusing them. Dating violence, which falls under domestic violence is common among many couples in California. Dating Violence involves certain patterns of behavior where one person in the relationship acts in an abusive manner towards the other partner. In dating violence, anyone can be an abuser or a victim regardless of sexual orientation or gender. Dating violence is regarded as an abusive behavior because it involves intimidation, harassment, humiliation, or isolation of one partner from his/her friends or family. People who feel abused by their intimate partner, under California law, they’re granted the right to file a lawsuit against their abusive partner so that the abuser can be restrained for their abusive behaviors towards you.

Before filing a lawsuit against your partner due to their abusive behavior, you first need to understand your state’s laws regarding the same. In California, restraining order laws are a bit different hence when you feel that your partner deserves a restraining order, you need to find an attorney specializing in domestic violence restraining orders to give you insight on the law and provide you with legal representation in court. The San Diego Restraining Order Attorney is experienced in this particular part of restraining order law; therefore, you should feel confident with your dating violence issues with our experts. Our attorneys are confidential and experienced; you can be assured of receiving the best legal services along with the privacy needed to help you go through this sensitive time in your life.

What is Dating Violence?

Dating Violence is any repetitive, abusive behavior towards another partner with whom you have an intimate relationship. Dating violence involves any abusive behavior which affects the other intimate partner, whether psychologically or physically, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. Although severe injuries might be part of dating violence, the majority of dating violence cases revolves around minor physical attacks such as pushing and slapping. In California, dating violence falls under domestic violence, which is viewed as a distinct crime. Victims of abusive behaviors while dating may be charged with domestic violence (in addition to) or battery and assault depending on the severity of abuse. Domestic violence laws define “abuse” as either of the following:

  • Sexual assault

  • Physically hurting someone or trying to whether recklessly or intentionally

  • Promise to harm or threats which make someone reasonably afraid that they might be seriously hurt

  • Behaviors such as stalking, harassing, hitting, threatening or disturbance of someone’s peace

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a court order given to a person who has been identified as an abuser by their intimate partners. Generally, a restraining order is meant to forbid the person who has been identified as an abuser to refrain from abusive activities affecting the other partner who requested the order. Under California law, a parent can also file a restraining order when a child is abused who is less than 12 years in domestic violence. However, if the child is more than 12 years, he/she can file his/her own restraining order. The restraining order will have the following effects on the abuser;

  • Prohibit the abuser from contacting you

  • May request sole custody of your children

  • The abuser may be mandated to keep a certain distance from you all the time

  • It may also require one of you to move out of the home.

  • Pay the child’s support

  • Transfer the rights to the account and cell phone number to the partner who is being protected.

  • Not to make any changes or whatsoever on the family’s insurance policies.

  • Obey orders given by the court about the property

Other Types of Restraining Orders

Depending on the person’s situation, the following restraining orders can be issued:

  1. Emergency Protective Order (EPO)

    This emergency order is issued by the police before the person gets a chance to file a petition either because the harm is imminent or in situations where the court is not in session. After 5 days, this EPO expires. The police officer who answers the domestic violence emergency call should request the judge to immediately offer this type of restriction order to the abused regardless of the time. The judge may order the abusive partner to leave home and keep a distance from the children or the victim. If you need a restrictive order that lasts longer, you should ask for TRO.

  2. Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)

    This usually is an emergency order given before parties involved get a formal hearing in a court for the judge to give his/her order. In this case, you’ll have to file paperwork explaining every detail of the case and explain to the court the reason why you need a restraining order. If the court finds that you deserve protection, you will be issued with a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). TRO is only valid until the judge hears the case and gives his/her final ruling. It’s also longer than EPO.

  3. Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)

    This type of restraining order is only issued after the case has been presented to the court for a formal hearing. This is normally a chance for the abuser to defend himself/herself before the judge by providing reasonable proof beyond any doubt that he/she did not abuse anyone. Unlike EPO and TRO, DVRO stays effective for a longer time of about 5 years. After 5 years you will be required to file another restraining order. A person should apply for DVRO before the deadline otherwise after that if you’ve to apply DVRO you’ll need to schedule another hearing in court.

  4. “Stay Away” Order or Criminal Protective Order

    Sometimes, in the case of a repetitive series of domestic violence/abuse to the victim, the district attorney gives criminal charges to the abusive person. After that, this now becomes a criminal court case hence the court will have to issue a criminal protective order against the abusive person/defendant while the case is still going on and if the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by the jury, for a period of 3 years after the case.

How to File a Domestic/Dating Violence Restraining Order Under California Law

Since dating violence falls under the category of domestic violence, one will have to file a domestic violence restraining order to the abuser because dating violence cannot be an independent legal case. If the alleged abuse or harassment took place in San Diego, the case should be filed in the Superior Court of San Diego or any other related Family law court. When filing a restriction order, one must specify the type of restriction they want against the defendant/abusive person and why. For instance, if you need immediate protection against the abusive person, you should request the court to provide you a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to protect you before the case details are formally heard by the court.

Normally the judge will schedule a hearing after about 3 weeks regardless of whether TRO was granted or not. The hearing gives the defendant a chance to defend his/her self for the accused charges. Therefore, before the hearing, the judge will give you a certain period of time to serve your papers to the restrained person for the purpose of the court hearing. This gives the restrained person time to respond to the served papers and prepare for the court hearing. Copy of the papers you filed and the court order should be hand-delivered to the restrained person and not by any other means such as mail before the court deadline. If these papers are not served to the restrained person before that deadline, you will have to ask the judge to extend the temporary restraining order until a new court hearing date is set to give you time to deliver the papers.

The restrained person will have a chance to file his/her answer regarding the restraining order giving his/her side of the story before the hearing. During the hearing, both parties have the right to seek the services of an attorney. Some of these laws can be a bit complicated; hence, it’s always wise to have a person who understands them by your side during the hearing. The lawyer will not only be there for you for legal matters, but they should also be able to support you emotionally. The San Diego Restraining Order Attorney is all about caring for our clients; do not hesitate to call us for any restraining order issues of domestic violence. If the plaintiff does not attend the court hearing, temporary restraining order to the defendant will have to end that day, and there will be no more restraining order. Whereas in the case where the restrained person does not attend the hearing, he/she will automatically have no input to the filed case and his/her side of the story will not be taken into consideration. At the court hearing, the judge may choose to give the following orders to the case:

  1. The judge may grant the plaintiff the orders he/she asked

  2. Give out some of the orders requested and not others

  3. The judge may choose not to give out any of the orders requested

  4. The judge can also choose to postpone the case and issue a new court date for hearing under the following circumstances:

    • If the judge needs more information about the case

    • The hearing is taking a longer time than planned

    • If the restrained person needs more additional time to prepare an answer and get a lawyer

Note that if the judge issues other additional orders in the restraining order such as child support or child custody, normally they’ll have different end dates. They may last until the child turns to a legal age (18 years) or if the judge makes an adjustment. After the judge gives his/her restraining orders or any other type of order, the court’s clerk should then prepare a written order which you are supposed to review keenly to make sure it exactly says what the judge ordered because the clerk can omit some useful information at times. If you find it has some errors you must alert the clerk immediately for correction and thereafter, you can take the restriction orders to the judge to sign which expires after the date set forth, i.e., 5 years.

Crucial Things To Do After Being Granted A Dating Violence Restraining Order

Depending on what you think is the safest in your situation, below are some crucial things you may want to do after being granted a restraining order:

  1. Before leaving the courthouse, you should first review your restraining order granted and ask your judge or clerk any questions you feel necessary regarding the order.

  2. For reference purposes, it would be to your best interest if you made several copies of your restraining order.

  3. It’s always wise to keep a copy of the restraining order with you every time.

  4. Provide a photo of the abuser and a copy of the restraining order to the security guard at your workplace or at home where you live.

  5. Also, you should leave copies of the restraining order at home, in your car, workplace and the children’s school or daycare if in case you had children with your abusive partner.

  6. Provide a copy of the dating violence restraining order to any other person named and protected by the order.

  7. It’s also very important to deliver a copy of the restraining order to your local law enforcement agency whether the court provided with that extra copy or not.

  8. It would also be to your best interest if you considered changing your phone number and home locks.

Frequently Asked Questions On Domestic/Dating Violence Restraining Orders

  1. Can anyone get a domestic violence restraining order?

    Restraining orders are not for everyone. For one to qualify for a restraining order, he/she must have been a target of repetitive abusive behavior by a person whom they’re in an intimate relationship with currently or in the past. It also applies to people who are dating regardless of whether they live together or not and also people living together with or without formal recognition of their intimate relationship.

  2. What happens if the restraining order is violated?

    Most states, including California, subject the abusive person to arrest or jail term for the violation of the court’s restraining order. Violation of restraining orders is regarded as a crime in California. In case of such issues, the plaintiff is advised to report the case to the police as soon as possible.

  3. Where can I obtain a restraining order for domestic violence?

    To obtain a restraining order, you can go to the nearest court in town or rather where you fled for safety during the attack. You are supposed to apply for a restraining order with your nearest family law court or local district court.

  4. Can someone change the terms of a restraining order?

    Yes, you can change the terms of a restraining order. Either the plaintiff or the abuser can ask the court to make adjustment of the restraining order. For that, one must file a motion with the jury if you want the changes done on a later date. Then a new court hearing will be scheduled where both the plaintiff and the defendant must attend for the restraining order changes to be successfully made.

  5. What happens to my dating violence restraining order when I move?

    If you move to another state or within California, your restraining order is not affected in any way since it remains valid and enforceable under California law. California federal law provides something called “full faith and credit,” which means someone is granted a civil and criminal protection order wherever he/she goes, including tribal lands and US territories.

  6. What can I do if I don’t get a domestic/dating violence restraining order?

    It’s important to understand that not all people qualify for a domestic violence restraining order due to some reasons that the court finds with your case. For instance, if you cannot prove that you were in an intimate relationship with the respondent, the court may not grant you a DVRO. However, there are other things you can do to get the safety you deserve, such as seeking protection through civil harassment order.

Find a Restraining Order Attorney Near Me

Unless you are a lawyer, some of these laws regarding domestic violence can be very confusing and overwhelming. To successfully maneuver court hearings and get the right kind of justice you are seeking, you need a professional and experienced attorney by your side such as the San Diego Restraining Order Attorney. Our attorneys have handled many dating violence cases garnering useful knowledge and skills to handle any type of restraining order case successfully. If you need to speak to one of our attorneys regarding your domestic violence restraining order issue, you can contact us by calling 619-728-6293. We handle all types of restraining order issues for domestic violence, whether you are a respondent or the victim. Call us today!

If you require a restraining order attorney in Orange County we recommend this law firm: Domestic Violence Lawyer in Orange County