If you need a lawyer for a case involving a workplace violence restraining order, consider contacting the San Diego Restraining Order Attorney. We represent both petitioners and respondents throughout San Diego, California. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with filing and responding to the order requests, developing safety plans, and navigating through court proceedings. We will also expound on the advantages and disadvantages of protective orders since workplace violence restraining orders are reserved for more severe cases.
A Brief Overview of a Workplace Violence Restraining Order
A workplace violence restraining order is a legal order that protects an employee suffering from credible threats of violence or unlawful violence at their place of work. The judge can order the perpetrator not to threaten or harass the victim, not to get near the victim, and not to possess a gun.
For better understanding, criminal violence involves a battery or stalking against a worker. It could include threats or actions involving following the worker to and from work, during the workday, contacting the workers during the work day, and getting into the employee's place of business.
Your employer should acquire a workplace violence restraining order on your behalf. Enforced by law enforcement authorities, the order can go up to a maximum of three years. Additionally, it can be used to protect your household or family members, your colleagues at your workplace, and other businesses owned by your employer.
So Who Gets the Protective Order in Question?
A company can get court orders banning unlawful violence against its employees. It is worth noting that workplace violence law is different from other laws that permit victims of threats of violence or unlawful violence to request the protective orders themselves.
In other words, workers can't request for workplace violence protection orders. Consequently, if you want to secure yourself, you can ask for another type of a restraining order on your own like:
Domestic violence restraining order that protects you and your loved ones from a person you were in a romantic relationship with
The civil harassment restraining order that protects you from neighbors, colleagues, roommates, and family members
Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order
In case you're a worker, and you are not sure which protective order suits you the best, consider talking to an experienced attorney. Additionally, a self-help center in your local court should be in a position to assist you.
Different Forms of Workplace Protective Orders in California
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
When your company requests the court of law for a protective order to protect one of its workers, the employer should fill out different forms giving an account of what has taken place as well as why the worker needs protection. Your company can request for a TRO to be brought into being without notifying the perpetrator up to when there is a hearing.
Usually, if the court believes you need protection and your employer follows all procedures, the court will issue the TRO. TROs last for fifteen (15) to twenty-five (25) days and expire on the court hearing date.
Permanent Restraining Order
Whether the court issues a temporary restraining order or not, the clerk should schedule a hearing date following your boss's application for a protective order. After the court's hearing, the court could give a permanent restraining order which can be or not be similar to TRO.
Well, the order isn't permanent since it lasts for only three (3) years. However, it is renewable provided that the status quo continues.
Stay-Away Order or Criminal Protective Order
Sometimes after a vicious workplace occurrence(s), the district attorney (DA) will file a case against the defendant. This opens a criminal case. It's not uncommon for the judge to order a stay-away order against the perpetrator while the case is continuing and in case the perpetrator pleads guilty or is found guilty three years after the criminal case is closed.
What are Your Employer's Responsibilities Once They Acquire a Protection Order on Your Behalf?
Your employer has a significant role to play upon learning you need a protection order. If you choose to share the information, your employer should enhance your security and safety by:
Allowing you to confidentially express yourself and reveal information about what you are going through only to the level in which you are comfortable.
Letting you know your situation is of interest, urgency, and that they are ready to stand with you. This goes further to collaborating in the development of safety actions that your employer could take.
Your employer should discuss with you different options that may help you. These options could include taking some time off or reasonable accommodations such as workstation relocation.
Respecting your decisions
You may decline help or make decisions that differ with your employer's expectations. It is, therefore, important for your employer to respect your decision since each case is unique and has different needs and circumstances.
What are the Different Accommodations an Employer Can Consider to Enhance your Safety?
Adjusting Job Responsibilities
Your employer could discuss with you whether the protection order will hinder or affect your performance of job responsibilities in any way. The boss will also inquire if as a result of threats or violence you are experiencing whether you require a job responsibilities revision (either temporarily or permanently). Perfect examples could be:
A receptionist at an office or retail business could be reassigned to other responsibilities in a non-public section of the company
A worker who works at a desk could require all their calls routed to voicemail
Collection and Documentation of Information
Your employer should also discuss with you whether you need help documenting inappropriate contact like harassing emails, job site visits, and calls. Documentation could be instrumental in proving that the perpetrator has breached the protection order.
Moreover, your company may consider documenting any form of abuse, such as bruises.
Security and Safety
An employer could take precautions to protect your privacy like securing access to your address and contact information. Also, the employer could make the following accommodation arrangements to improve your safety while at work:
Relocating your work station,
Having someone to escort you as you walk to your car, and
Accommodating through telecommuting.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get a Court Protection Order
Filling Out Court Forms
When your employer applies for a restraining order, they must file several court forms indicating what order they need and why. These forms include:
Petition for Workplace Violence Restraining Orders- It gives the court the details of the petitioner's case as well as which orders both you and your employer want the judge to issue.
Form CLETS-001 (Confidential CLETS Information) - This form is confidential and doesn't get filed. It's used to enter your protective order into a statewide computer system that notifies the law enforcers of your order.
Form WV-109 (Items 1, 2, and 3 of the Notice of Court Hearing) - It notifies the parties involved of the time and date of the court hearing.
Temporary Restraining Order (CLETS-TWH) - The court could issue TRO before the court hearing happens. It can be or not be issued after notifying the defendant.
Form MC-020 (Additional Page) - It is used if you require additional space to tell why you want the protective order.
Civil Case Cover Sheet.
Form MC-030 (Declaration) – This form is used when your employer is attaching your witness statements. Remember if they are applying for restraining orders founded on what you or your workmates have told them (not what they've personally seen or heard), they should have each one of you fill out a declaration that will be attached to the petition.
After filling out all the forms, your employer should have the forms reviewed at the court's self-help center. The self-help center not only ensures the forms are correctly filled but also helps petitioners who can't afford an attorney.
Next, your boss should make copies of every form apart from Confidential CLETS Information. They should keep one copy, give one (1) to you, and serve one (1) to the defendant. If more persons need protection, the company should provide each person with a copy. The original copy should be brought to the court.
Additionally, your employer should make only two (2) Confidential CLETS Information copies. The original copy should be given to the court, and the remaining one should be kept in your company's records.
Filing the Forms with your Court
As soon as your employer has filled out the forms, the next step is filing the forms with the court. They should confirm with the clerk whether they have done the right thing. This is because the procedure of filing these forms varies from one court to another. Generally, your boss will follow the following procedure:
Giving the forms to the clerk
Once your employer provides the clerk with the papers, the court clerk should file the petition. That means the forms will become an official element of your case's record. The court clerk should retain the original copy and then issue your boss with copies that are stamped "Filed."
In cases where you have not been stalked or received criminal violence, your boss will incur a filing fee. In any event, they cannot afford, they could request a waiver.
Also, if either you or your employer cannot speak English properly, you can request the court for a translator for the court hearing. If there is no interpreter available, you can bring someone. However, it would be best if you did not ask a witness, a protected individual, or a child to interpret.
Find out if the court issued the TRO
Once your petition is filed, the court clerk will submit the forms to the court. The judge should then go through your declarations and petition to determine whether to issue the TRO or not. The judge should decide by the following day, although the exact time and process vary with every jurisdiction. Enquire from the court clerk if you need to wait until the court makes the decision, or come back later.
After the judge's verdict, study your paperwork to check:
If there are changes made to the order you requested in the petition,
Whether the judge denied the petition, and
The scheduled court hearing date.
Next, the employer should give you a TRO copy. You should keep the protected order in a place where it is easy to access and present to the police.
Serve the Paperwork on the Defendant
The third step is servicing the defendant with the paperwork your employer brought to the court. These papers should be delivered by a third party who is referred to as a process server or server. The process server should be at least eighteen (18) years of age and not you, or your employer.
If the TRO is not based on threats, violence, or stalking, the police could charge you for serving the papers.
Until the defendant has been served properly, the court can't issue a permanent order. The respondent should be served with the papers immediately (before the deadline on the Notice of Court Hearing). This is to give the respondent time to react and respond to the petition as well as prepare for the hearing.
Make sure papers are served in person. Also, the server should fill out Form WV-200 (Proof of Personal Service) correctly since it should be brought to the court. Form WV-200 notifies the police and the court that the defendant received TRO, petition, and a notice of hearing copies.
Prepare for the Hearing
Your employer should bring all documents that prove harassment, stalking, threats, or violence. Make sure they carry two (2) copies of the filed forms. They could also bring witnesses, police or medical reports, photos, threatening emails, letters, texts, or damaged assets to support the case.
It would help if you also appeared in court to tell your story. If you are afraid, contact the security personnel in court once you arrive in court.
When asked for your story during the court hearing, speak slowly, tell the truth, be calm and brief, and use appropriate language. You can choose to read from the papers you filed. If the defendant lies, wait till they finish and then request the judge for an opportunity to tell the truth.
After the court hearing, the court could:
Grant all the orders your employer requested,
Grant a number of the orders asked,
Deny all the orders you asked, or
Postpone the case and schedule another date for the court hearing
In case the court reschedules its decision, and a TRO was granted, the order will most likely remain effective while waiting for the new court hearing date.
After the Hearing in a Court of Law
If a protective order was issued at the court hearing, the clerk should develop a written order for the judge to sign using Workplace Violence Restraining Order After Hearing (CLETS-WHO). Sometimes, your employer is the one who prepares this order. Make sure the order includes everything ordered by the judge.
Finally, ensure you have copies of the order close-at-hand.
Responding to a Workplace Protection Order
Step One: Fill Out all the Court Forms
Ask the court clerk or your lawyer for all the forms you should fill out. They include Response to Petition for Workplace Violence Restraining Order, Declaration, and Additional Page. Once you are done filling out the paperwork, ask the self-help center to review the papers.
Make copies of all the forms. Give the court the original copy, keep one (1) copy, and then serve the employer with one (1).
Step Two: Filing the Paperwork and Serving the Petitioner with the Paper
Once you are done filling out the forms, take them to the clerk for filing. The court clerk will file the original copies and then return the rest to you after stamping them "Filed."
Then serve the employer with copies of your forms at least two (2) days before the hearing. Make sure you get Form WV-250 (Proof of service of response by mail) from the server and then file a copy with the court.
Step Three: Prepare and Go to the Court Hearing
Get all your paperwork and evidence together. You can carry a witness statement of what your witnesses heard or saw. Also, take into consideration every order requested and decide whether or not to agree with that order. If you disagree, write down why you disagree.
Step Four: After the Hearing
If the court makes a protective order, you should adhere to it. Otherwise, you could be put into custody. Review the Workplace Restraining Order After Hearing form and make sure it includes everything ordered by the court. If it does not, talk to the clerk immediately and see what can be done. If the court clerk can't assist you, consider speaking with the self-help center or your lawyer.
What are the Effects of Having a Protective Order Against You?
Most defendants don't realize the effects of voluntarily allowing a workplace restraining order to be ordered against them. The most common consequences include:
Having a criminal record that shows you have a workplace restraining order
The restraining order could rule you out from educational and employment opportunities
You should not own a gun. If you already own a firearm, you should dispose of it through a licensed gun dealer or surrender it to the police.
Going near the protected employee or place could result in fines or jail sentence
It is also worth noting that a restraining order is one of the court orders that are difficult expunging from a criminal record. The judge could also order that you get a psychological evaluation or enroll in anger management sessions.
How Can a Lawyer Help a Respondent?
Any qualified protective order lawyer should assist you in any of the following ways:
Handling prosecutors and the police on your behalf
Looking for ways to have your criminal charges reduced through plea bargain negotiations
Preparing and representing you at all stages of the trial
Trying to resolve your charges without going to trial through dismissal
Find a Committed Workplace Violence San Diego Restraining Order Attorney Near Me
At San Diego Restraining Order Attorney, our lawyers have experience handling different variations of workplace protection order matters. We understand how overwhelming it can be to worry about how a workplace restraining order against you can affect your life or being a victim of unlawful workplace violence. Contact our office at 619-728-6293 when a protective order has been filed against you or when you need help submitting a workplace violence protective order. We will ensure your rights are protected by conducting a background check and representing you in court. Additionally, we will help you understand both your responsibilities and rights during and after the case.