How Long Does It Take To Get A Restraining Order In California
Restraining orders, also known as protective orders, are court orders that prohibit certain actions or behaviors and protect individuals from physical harm or threats of violence. In California, restraining orders can be obtained by individuals who have been victims of domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or elder abuse. If you are in a situation where you need to obtain a restraining order, you may be wondering how long it will take to get one. In this article, we will explore the process of obtaining a restraining order in California, including the time frame involved, and answer some frequently asked questions about restraining orders.
The Process of Obtaining a Restraining Order in California
The process of obtaining a restraining order in California begins by filling out the necessary paperwork and filing it with the court. The paperwork includes a petition for a restraining order, which is a request for a court order that prohibits certain actions or behaviors, and a temporary restraining order (TRO) if you need immediate protection.
The paperwork can be obtained from the court or downloaded from the California Courts website. The paperwork must be filled out completely, including a detailed account of the incidents that led to the request for a restraining order. The petitioner must also provide the court with information about the respondent, including their name and contact information.
Once the paperwork is completed, it must be filed with the court. Filing can be done in person or by mail, and there is no filing fee for domestic violence, harassment, or elder abuse restraining orders. If you are seeking a restraining order for stalking, there may be a fee, but the court may waive the fee if you cannot afford it.
After the paperwork is filed, the court will review the petition and decide whether to grant a TRO. The TRO is a temporary order that provides immediate protection while the court decides whether to grant a permanent restraining order. The TRO is usually granted the same day the paperwork is filed or the next day.
The TRO will be served on the respondent by a police officer or a professional process server. The respondent will be notified of the hearing date where they will have the opportunity to contest the restraining order. The respondent may also file a response to the petition before the hearing.
Restraining Order Hearing
The restraining order hearing is a court proceeding where the petitioner and the respondent will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue their case. If the TRO was granted, it will remain in effect until the hearing. The hearing should be scheduled within 21 days of the TRO being granted.
At the hearing, the judge will consider the evidence presented and will decide whether to grant a permanent restraining order. A permanent restraining order can last for up to 5 years, but can be extended if necessary.
If the judge grants a permanent restraining order, it will be served on the respondent, who will be ordered to comply with the terms of the order. If the respondent violates the restraining order, they can be arrested and face criminal charges.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order in California?
The time it takes to get a restraining order in California can vary depending on the circumstances. If a TRO is necessary, it can be granted the same day the paperwork is filed or the next day. The TRO will be in effect until the hearing, which should be scheduled within 21 days.
If the respondent is served with the TRO and the hearing proceeds without any delays, a permanent restraining order can be granted at the hearing. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two.
However, if the respondent contests the restraining order, the process can take longer. The respondent has the right to a fair hearing and may need time to prepare their response or obtain legal representation. In these cases, the hearing may be postponed, and the process can take several weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restraining Orders in California
1. What types of restraining orders are available in California?
In California, there are four types of restraining orders available: Domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, elder abuse restraining orders, and workplace violence restraining orders.
2. Can I get a restraining order against a roommate?
Yes, if you are living with a roommate who is threatening or harassing you, you can obtain a restraining order to protect yourself.
3. Can I get a restraining order against someone who is not a US citizen?
Yes, a restraining order can be obtained against any person, regardless of their immigration status.
4. What happens if the respondent violates the restraining order?
If the respondent violates the restraining order, they can be arrested and face criminal charges. The petitioner should contact the police immediately if the respondent violates the order.
5. Can a restraining order be renewed?
Yes, a restraining order can be renewed if necessary. The petitioner must file a new petition for a restraining order before the current one expires.
In conclusion, obtaining a restraining order in California involves filling out paperwork, filing it with the court, obtaining a TRO if necessary, and attending a hearing where evidence is presented. The time it takes to get a restraining order can vary depending on the circumstances, but it can be granted the same day a TRO is filed or take several weeks if the respondent contests the order. If you need a restraining order and are unsure of the process, contact your local court or seek assistance from a legal professional.