If you are facing harassment or abuse from someone, a restraining order is one way to protect yourself from further harm. This orders an individual not to contact or come near another person and can be granted when the court believes there has been some type of harm or fear of future harm involved.
Obtaining a restraining order can provide peace of mind by keeping unwanted people at bay.
What Qualifies for a Restraining Order?
A restraining order protects someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, harassed, or interfered with. California has four types: domestic violence, civil harassment, elder abuse, and workplace violence.
Domestic violence restraining orders are issued to keep people safe from physical harm or threats of physical harm from a family member or intimate partner. All forms of domestic violence and emotional abuse qualify.
Civil harassment restraining orders are issued to protect people from stalking, threats of violence, serious harassment, or destruction of property by someone with whom they do not have a close relationship.
Elder abuse restraining orders are issued to keep the elderly and dependent adults safe from physical abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
Workplace violence restraining orders are issued to protect employees from the violent behavior of another employee or a non-employee while they are working.
Do You Have to Appear in Court?
When you file for a restraining order, the judge might grant immediate temporary protection until you go to court. You most likely will need to appear in court to provide evidence to support your request. You can also bring other witnesses that can testify on your behalf.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last?
The duration of a restraining order in California depends on the type of request and the specific circumstances of each case.
Domestic violence, civil harassment, and elder abuse requests can last up to five years. Still, they can be renewed after that time if necessary, but the request has to be made before the current one expires. They can also be issued on a temporary basis, which lasts until the hearing for a longer-term restraining order takes place.
Workplace violence restraining orders can last up to three years, with the possibility of renewal if needed.
Can a Request Be Dropped?
You can request that a restraining order be dropped. Either the victim or defendant can file a request with the court. After the filing, both parties may be required to attend a hearing where they can present evidence and arguments as to why the request should be terminated. The judge will then determine if the change is justified.
Taking the First Step
Filing a restraining order is often difficult but necessary for physical and emotional well-being. Our attorneys at Lonich Polich Ehrlich Policastri work with families throughout San Jose and the greater Bay Area, so we understand what you may be going through. If you want to speak with someone about your situation, you can contact us for a free 30-minute consultation. Call us at 408-553-0801 to learn more.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.