What is a restraining order?
A Restraining Order (also called a “Protective Order”) is a Court order that offers protection for someone (a “Protected Party”) from being physically, sexually or mentally abused, threatened, stalked, harassed, or having their peace disturbed by another person (a “Restrained Party”).
Restraining orders are sought to protect people from: domestic violence from family members or people whom have had a personal relationship, elder or dependent adult abuse, civil harassment (people who are not family members), and workplace violence (sought solely by employers).
A restraining order may also be issued if the police, district attorney, or judge believes that such an order is appropriate after responding to (or reviewing) a criminal complaint. This type of restraining order is often called a “criminal protective order.”
People often seek restraining orders in conjunction with other legal matters, such as a civil lawsuit, criminal charges, or a family court matter (divorce, child custody, visitation, etc.).
understanding the restraining order process
Initially, if the initial application for a restraining order is granted by the court based on facts within the application, a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) is issued. This remains in effect until a hearing can be held, at which time evidence is provided to the Court by both parties. Following that hearing, the Court will either impose a restraining order for a particular period of time, or allow the TRO to expire if the Protected Party cannot prove a restraining order is appropriate.
In some circumstances, the Court encourages people to craft a mutual agreement which both parties agree they will abide by. Because restraining orders have serious legal effects (firearms and ammunition restrictions and other prohibitions, or work-related implications such as security clearances or the ability to work with children), mutual agreements are often more attractive than a Court-issued restraining order. These mutual orders are reviewed by the Court and do have the same legal effect as restraining orders.
Violating a Restraining Order is a crime (CA Penal Code 273.6), even if it turns out that a restraining order is found to be baseless. Penalties can vary, depending on the circumstances of the violation.
If you feel you are being harassed, stalked, or your peace of mind is being affected by someone, Advocas Law Group can help.
Stop Frivolous Restraining Orders
Don’t let someone intimidate you with a frivolous restraining order
Unfortunately, some people file frivolous restraining order applications to harass neighbors, acquaintances, former domestic partners, co-workers, etc. Restraining orders are serious. Orders are entered into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) database, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Database, and restrained persons may be flagged for searches by Homeland Security upon re-entry into the United States after traveling abroad.
If someone has filed a restraining order against you, Advocas Law Group can assess the claims, gather and present evidence on your behalf and defend you against frivolous orders.
Contact us today to learn more.