Restraining orders are different than domestic violence cases and different from protective orders. Restraining orders are something that is done in civil court by a judge in order to temporarily restrain someone and then potentially restrain them for a period of up to five years. There are multiple types different types of restraining orders that can be filed in San Diego. These include a domestic violence restraining order, a civil harassment restraining order, and an elder abuse restraining order. Restraining orders require a lot of paperwork and also require court hearings. Most people decide to hire an attorney to advocate for them at these hearings and to make sure they have completed all of the paperwork correctly.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order / Temporary Restraining Order
A domestic violence restraining order is the most common type of restraining order that is filed. It starts with one party filing what is called the DV-100. That is a form that initiates the process. After that is filed a judge makes a decision whether or not to grant a temporary restraining order, pending a full restraining order hearing. Whether or not the judge grants the temporary order, the petitioner must serve the other party. Once the other party is served, they show up to court and a hearing date is set.
A case needs to be filed as a domestic violence restraining order if there was any type of domestic relationship between the two. This can be through family members living together or from current or former relationships. These types of restraining orders often have a lot of animosity from both sides towards each other. There are sometimes even child custody issues that are involved as well. However, the restraining order judge cannot decide on these custody issues in their courtroom. They only have the jurisdiction to deal with the restraining order at hand and nothing else.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order / Temporary Restraining Order
A civil harassment restraining order is much like a domestic violence restraining order but here there is no prior relationship between the two parties. These types of orders are generally brought with neighbors or former business associates who believe that one side is harassing the other. The civil restraining orders are interesting because the judges make it very clear that it has to be repeated contact. Someone doing something negative to the other person one time only should never be enough to have a restraining order granted in court.
Elder Abuse Restraining Order / Temporary Restraining Order
Elder abuse restraining orders are the last common types of restraining orders filed. These are usually only used in situations where family members are in conflict with one another and they are trying to limit someone’s contact with their elder family member. We have seen situations where these are abused and are actually used so that someone can get ahead in a published Will or other type of situation. Elder abuse restraining orders require no real prior relationship but instead just previous contact with the petitioner.
Restraining Order Hearings in San Diego
If both parties are served then the case moves to a restraining order hearing. The restraining order hearing is like a mini trial, where witnesses are called and they go through direct and cross examination. Both sides have an opportunity to call their own witnesses. The attorney who calls the witness will ask them questions and guide them through their testimony then the opposing attorney has an opportunity to cross examine them on those questions and ask them some questions of their own. These types of hearings end with a closing argument from both sides on why they believe that the order should either be granted or dismissed.
Consequences of a restraining order
The consequences of a restraining order in San Diego are as follows:
- The restrained needs to stay away from the other party or be in violation of a criminal law
- The restrained must surrender any firearms and not possess any firearms during the period of the order
- The restrained is added to a nation wide database that shows the restraining order is in place
These types of cases are not the easiest to deal with. We often get calls from people who did not have an attorney telling us that they did not get to talk in their hearing and that they did not have an opportunity to present their evidence. One of our top restraining order attorneys in San Diego Jennifer Goldman, always tells them the importance to having an attorney present. They then proceed to ask us if we can fix what happened. We explain to them that now it is to late and a judgment on a case like this is a final judgment. Do not let that scenario happen in your case. Be proactive and call us at San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyers for a free consultation.