Temporary Restraining Orders
RISE offers resources and help for survivors of sexual assault, sexual abuse and/or intimate partner violence who may need a restraining order against their abuser or attacker.
WHAT IS A RESTRAINING ORDER?
A restraining order (also called a “protective order”) is a court order that can protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed. The person getting the restraining order is called the “protected person.” The person the restraining order is against is the “restrained person.” Sometimes, restraining orders include other “protected persons” like family or household members of the protected person.
WHAT TYPES OF RESTRAINING ORDERS ARE THERE?
RISE provides legal support to victims of sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence. A legal services advocate can provide Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is a civil court order that is signed by a judge and tells the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both female and male victims. There are four types of domestic violence restraining orders:
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO) - Any court-issued order intended to protect a person from harm or harassment. An emergency protective order is issued by the police, when court is out of session, to prevent domestic violence and protect a person from harm or harassment. Most emergency protective orders are stopgap measures that normally last for five (5) days, after which the abused person is expected to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a court.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) - If you are in immediate danger and need protection right away, you can ask for a temporary (ex parte) restraining order, which can order the abuser to leave the home, have no contact with you, and offer many other forms of protection. When applying for a restraining order, the clerk will give you a date, usually within three weeks, when you will have to come back to court for a full hearing.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order (after hearing) - After having a court hearing, a judge can grant you a “restraining order after hearing” that can last up to five years. However, if there is no termination date on the order, the order will last 3 years from the date it was issued. During the last three months of the order, you can file a "request to renew restraining order," this can be granted for up to give years or permanently. You will have to state good reasons why you believe the order should be granted.
- Criminal Protective Order (CPO) - This order is issued by a judge in Criminal Court with the purpose of protecting a witness or victim of a crime. A CPO can be issued in a domestic violence case that has been reported to the police and then filed by the District Attorney’s Office. Once the case appears before a judge, a CPO can be issued. The Victim Witness Assistance Center can help with this process.
A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is a civil court order that is signed by a judge and is for victims who are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone who is not as close as is required under domestic violence cases, like a roommate, a neighbor, or more distant family members like cousins, aunts or uncles, or nieces or nephews. This is the type of order utilized by victims of sexual assault/abuse when the perpetrator was not an intimate partner (spouse, cohabitant, share a child, dating, girlfriend/boyfriend).
WHAT DOES A RESTRAINING ORDER DO?
In general restraining orders can include:
- Personal conduct orders: These are orders to stop specific acts against everyone named in the restraining order as a “protected person.” Some of the things that the restrained person can be ordered to stop are:
- Contacting, calling, or sending any messages (including e-mail);
- Attacking, striking, or battering;
- Sexually assaulting;
- Destroying personal property; or
- Disturbing the peace of the protected people.
- Stay-away orders: These are orders to keep the restrained person a certain distance away (like 50 or 100 yards) from:
- The protected person or persons;
- Where the protected person lives;
- His or her place of work;
- His or her children’s schools or places of child care;
- His or her vehicle;
- Other important places where he or she goes.
- Residence exclusion (“kick-out” or “move-out”) orders: These are orders telling the restrained person to move out from where the protected person lives and to take only clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing. These orders can only be asked for in domestic violence or elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order cases.
For the person to be restrained, having a restraining order against him or her can have very serious consequences:
- He or she will not be able to go to certain places or to do certain things.
- He or she might have to move out of his or her home.
- It may affect his or her ability to see his or her children.
- He or she will generally not be able to own a gun. (And he or she will have to turn in or sell any guns they have now and not be able to buy a gun while the restraining order is in effect.)
- It may affect his or her immigration status if he or she is trying to get a green card or a visa.
- If the restrained person violates (breaks) the restraining order, he or she may go to jail, or pay a fine, or both.
HOW DO I GET LEGAL SUPPORT?
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) can be of great comfort to survivors fearing for their safety. However, navigating the family court system can be difficult and overwhelming. RISE provides survivors of domestic violence/intimate partner violence and sexual assault, with assistance when trying to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order or a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.
RISE is able to provide assistance in completing restraining order documents, explain the process and answer questions, assist with the filing of appropriate documents, and accompany you to court on the day of your hearing. Staff members are trained advocates; they are NOT attorneys or paralegals and will not give legal advice.
Please refer to our Restraining Order Flow Chart to determine if you or a loved one might be able to receive support from RISE for a restraining order.
To access these services, contact the business line at 805-226-5400 to make an appointment or complete the appropriate packet and drop off to the office nearest you.
WHERE CAN I FIND LEGAL RESOURCES?
San Luis Obispo County Superior Court of California
San Luis Obispo Superior Courthouse 1035 Palm St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 (805) 781-5706
Paso Robles Superior Courthouse 901 Park St., Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 237-3079
Self-Help Center/Family Law Facilitator Office
Free self-help center assisting with domestic violence, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, paternity, child custody, spousal and child support. Located in SLO County Superior Court locations (see above).
LOCATIONS AND HOURS:
San Luis Obispo Courthouse: Wednesday and Thursday mornings, 8:30-11:30 am
Paso Robles Courthouse: Tuesdays, 8:30 am-4:00 pm (closed 11:30 am-1:30 pm)
To schedule an appointment call (805) 788-3418 for San Luis Obispo, and (805) 788-2491 for Paso Robles.
Legal referral program for San Luis Obispo County; volunteers lawyers, when available, can provide legal information and advice at no charge to individuals who are in need, and unable to afford a lawyer. Visit the link or call for more information at (805) 548-8884.