What is a California Emergency Protective Order?
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An emergency protective order (EPO) is a court order that protects victims from domestic violence by prohibiting the victims’ abusers from coming within a certain distance of the victim. You can obtain an EPO by calling 911 and reporting domestic violence to the police. You can ask for this order at any time – day or night. An EPO may also grant the victim temporary custody of his or her children. However, an EPO and other restraining orders do not guarantee the safety of you and/or your children. If you continue to fear for your safety after the issuance of an order, the California Bar suggests you consider moving into a domestic violence shelter or the home of a friend or relative who is not known to the abuser.
An EPO remains in effect for five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is shorter. For a longer-term restraining order, you must apply for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) at the local courthouse. If a TRO is granted, it will take effect as soon as the restrained party is served a copy of the court papers. The TRO will stay in effect for a period not exceeding three weeks, pending a court hearing. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether a “permanent” restraining order is warranted, which can stay in effect up to three years.
It is important to note that under California law, a wide variety of activity can constitute grounds for a domestic violence protective order. California law defines domestic violence as abuse towards an intimate partner or family member. Domestic violence stems from the abuser’s need to control. It includes threats, annoying phone calls, stalking, unwanted sexual touching, hitting, the destruction of personal property, and other actions. Victims may be a spouse, dating partner, someone you lived with, or a relative related by blood or marriage. It affects same-sex partners as well as heterosexual couples. Both children and adults can be the victims of domestic violence.
For more information about emergency protective orders and temporary restraining orders, please contact the San Jose family law attorneys at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.