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Restraining orders, also referred to as “protective orders” serve to protect someone from the threat of physical or sexual abuse by another person. If you have been harmed, threatened, stalked, abused or harassed by someone, you are eligible for filing a restraining order against them. It is important to protect yourself from future harm and ensure that anyone who intends or threatens to hurt you or your family is legally required to keep his or her distance.
Filing a restraining order can be very taxing; typically a very heavy physical and emotional experience has caused the need for a restraining order, and this alone can put tremendous stress on a family. Filing many pages of paperwork, meeting with a judge and completing the tedious steps to serve a restraining order adds to the anxiety that plagues a family or individual during this process. We always recommend seeking legal assistance when filing a restraining order, to ensure not only that the process is done efficiently and correctly, but to make sure you are doing everything you can to have the restraining order approved.
At The Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood, we want to see you safe and protected. We can guide you through every step of filing a restraining order and ensuring the security of you and your loved ones.
What Can a Restraining Order Do?
There are several kinds of restraining orders, varying depending on your relationship to the person being restrained. The comprehensiveness of the restraining order is based on what is filed and what terms are requested. Generally, protective orders may include any of the following three restrictions:
- Personal Conduct Orders: This type of restraining order restricts a specific act against the protected person/people. These actions may include calling/contacting, attacks, stalking, harassment, sexual assault, destruction of personal property or disturbing.
- Stay-away Orders: These orders restrict the distance the restrained person can be from the protected person or their place of work, home, children’s schools, vehicle, or any other place the protected person regularly visits.
- Residence Exclusion Order: If the restrained person is sharing a residence with the protected person, a residence exclusion order can force the restrained party to move out with only his or her clothing and personal possessions. These orders can only be filed in domestic violence and elder abuse cases.
Temporary Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order (TRO) is usually needed when someone is in immanent danger or has been severely threatened and a restraining order is immediately necessary. When you apply for a TRO, it becomes effective instantly and lasts for 21 days. This period allows time for the restrained person to be served with the order and a hearing date. The hearing is held to determine whether a more permanent restraining order may be issued against the restrained person.
During the hearing, you will appeal to a judge regarding the reason for your restraining order, arguing based on the type of restraining order and your relationship to the restrained person in question. If granted, the judge may extend the terms of the protective order for up to 5 years.
See below for information on requirements for different types of restraining orders.
Types of Restraining Orders
Restraining orders vary based on your relationship to the restrained person and the extenuating circumstances surrounding your case. The different types of restraining orders are as follows:
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order: This type of protective order is filed against someone you have a close relationship with who has abused you. A domestic relationship is defined as one in which you and the restrained person have presently or previously dated, been married, cohabitated, had children, or are related by blood or marriage. There must have been a recent act of physical violence or a threat of such action in order for a restraining order to be filed.
- Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order: If you are 65 or older, or between the ages of 18-64 with a mental or physical disability preventing you from either protecting yourself or performing everyday tasks, you may be eligible for filing this type of restraining order. The additional requirement is that you have been a victim of abuse (physical, mental or financial), neglect, or deprivation of necessities by your caregiver.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order: If you are being stalked, harassed, threatened or abused by someone who does not qualify under the domestic violence guidelines, you can file a civil harassment protective order against him or her. The restrained person may be any friend or acquaintance, including a roommate, cousin or neighbor.
- Workplace Violence Restraining Order: If you are an employer, you can request a restraining order for an employee who has been suffering from harassment, stalking, abuse or threats in the workplace. If an employee wishes to file such an order, he or she must file as a civil harassment or domestic violence restraining order. Only an employer can file a restraining order for the workplace.
Filing a restraining order is possible on your own, but we are here to let you know you do not have to. You can have the support and dedication of a legal team who cares about your safety and well-being to help you through the process. If you are interested in learning more about how The Law Offices of Alisha A. Wood can help you file an appropriate restraining order, call our offices today. We are eager to answer any questions you might have and walk you through every step of the process. There is a reason we are San Diego’s most trusted team of attorneys.
Call us today: (619) 356-2249.