If you need immediate protection call 911. There are many kinds of restraining orders: civil, criminal, and domestic. You can file a domestic violence restraining order independently or without filing another family law cause of action.
If you already have a family law cause of action pending, then the domestic violence restraining order will be filed under that case number.
Under California Family Code Section 6211 in order to obtain a domestic violence restraining order you must be one of the following:
- A spouse, former spouse cohabitant or former cohabitant
- Person who is or had in a dating relationship or engagement relationship
- Person with whom the party has a child under a parentage action
- A child subject to a parentage action
- A person related by consanguinity (blood relation)within the second degree
If the above does not apply to you, then you can still seek a restraining order but not a “domestic” restraining order. There are other civil and criminal types of restraining orders. In addition, you must be the victim of abuse. California Family Code Section 6203 defines “abuse” as any of the following:
- “To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
- Sexual assault.
- To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
- To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320 . . . Abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault.”
Behavior defined in California Family Code Section 6320 is as follows:
” (a) The court may issue an ex parte order enjoining a party from molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, credibly impersonating as described in Section 528.5 of the Penal Code, falsely personating as described in Section 529 of the Penal Code, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, making annoying telephone calls as described in Section 653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and, in the discretion of the court, on a showing of good cause, of other named family or household members.
(b) On a showing of good cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent. The court may order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal.”
For more information please go to the family law website for your respective county:
Documentation of domestic violence including pictures, emails, voicemails, CPS (Child Protective Services) reports, medical reports, police reports, and prior criminal records are critical in corroborating the claim.