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Restraining Orders

Posted by Joel Bailey | May 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

In California, there are two basic types of restraining orders, Civil Harassment (CCP 527.6)  and Domestic Violence (DV TRO's).  Today I'll focus on DV TRO's, who can get one, what they do, and what should you do if you have been served with one?


A DV TRO is an order restraining a person from certain conduct, such as stay away orders, anti-harrassment, etc.  A temporary order must be issued, upon showing of good cause, the same day of application.  A Hearing is usually set within 21 days, and if granted, the “permanent” order lasts from one to five years.

DV TRO's commonly are sought in conjunction with criminal cases,  as well as couples pending a divorce or separation.  A TRO is not  a criminal matter, and may proceed independently of, or concurrent with a prosecution.  If you are facing criminal charges, you probably should request a stay in the TRO proceedings and invoke your Fifth Amendment right against incrimination, as avoiding jail is more important that the restraining order.

A restraining order is a court order issued to prevent the recurrence of acts of abuse by a batterer. Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, abuse is defined as any of the following:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury.
  2. Sexual assault.
  3. Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
  4. Engaging in any behavior that has been or could be illegal such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, destroying personal property, contacting the other by mail, telephone, or otherwise, disturbing the peace of the other party.


To get a DV TRO, a petitioner must establish a relationship exists with the person sought to be restrained, such as:

  • You are married or were formerly married to the other party.
  • You have or formerly had an engagement or dating relationship with the other party.
  • You and the other party have a child or children together.
  • You are related to the other party by blood, marriage or adoption, e.g., (mother, father, in-laws, siblings, adult children).
  • You and the other party are living together, or formerly lived together, as members of a “household.”

The act(s) of abuse/violence must be recent, within 30 days.


If you are served with a TRO, its important to seek legal advice immediately.  Many of your rights are time-sensitive, such as filing a response and serving the Petitioner prior to the hearing.  Also, it may not be in your best interest to respond, and/or a continuance might be more appropriate.

Call today for a free consultation, I'm happy to help.


760 643 4025

About the Author

Joel Bailey

ATTORNEY BIO & EXPERIENCE Attorney Joel W. Bailey was born and raised in San Diego, California. He graduated from La Jolla High School, and earned degrees in Psychology, Sociology and Political Science from UC Santa Barbara, as well as completing a semester at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain....


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