Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Obtaining a Restraining Order as a Victim of Domestic Violence

In San Diego, it is possible to obtain a domestic violence restraining order from the legal judicial system, which will effectively prohibit an individual from performing any actions that may harass, or harm you in any way. Although it is intended to protect the individual for whom it is taken out, a restraining order is a civil order, meaning that it will not provide an abuser with a criminal record unless they violate the order.

Who can Apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

In some cases, domestic violence restraining orders are issued by judges in particularly heated legal situations, such as a custody battle or ongoing divorce that is causing a potentially dangerous or threatening situation between certain individuals. However, victims of domestic abuse, or violence can also obtain a restraining order if they have been the subject of abuse by their spouse, family member or any previously present individual, so long as the victim is either an emancipated minor or over the age of 18. The term ‘domestic violence’ can refer to any of the following acts that have been committed against a victim:

         o   Sexual assault

         o   Assault

         o   Terrorist threats

         o   Stalking

         o   Kidnapping

         o   Homicide

         o   Criminal trespass

         o   Harassment

        o   Criminal sexual contact

        o   Burglary

        o   Damaging personal property

What can a Domestic Violence Restraining Order do for Victims of Domestic Violence?

As a victim of domestic violence, an individual can request a judge to sign a document called a ‘Domestic Violence Restraining Order’, which demands that the abuser obey the law and follow rules regarding what they can, and cannot do. For example, the abuser may be required to have no contact with the victim either at home, via phone or email, at work, or anywhere else you might ask the court to place on the order.

The order may also work to protect other individuals within your family if you believe that they are at risk. The court could demand that the abuser in question leaves your family home, shared apartment, or domicile in which you live, even if that particular piece of real estate is in the abuser’s name.

In San Diego, a court may rule that the abuser must pay any financial costs that may have arose as a result of the abuse. For example, any medical or dental treatment, household bills that are immediately due, loss of earnings or expenses caused by moving home. The judge may also demand that your abuser pays for any fees that must be paid to an attorney on your behalf as a result of having to seek a domestic violence restraining order.

How Long will a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Last?

When you initially file to obtain protection from the law, it will only be on a temporary basis. The order that you receive will indicate a specific date at which point you must return to the court alongside the abuser to endure a formal proceeding. If your abuser does not arrive as expected at the hearing, then you may find that the judge either enters a final order if you have proof as to the abuser being served a notice to appear, or continue the temporary order until the individual can attend.

Remember, the courts will take domestic abuse very seriously, and you will not be asked to serve papers to the abuser on their behalf. So you do not have to worry about that. The local sheriff will serve the restraining order as soon as possible so they are aware that there is an order in place.  Once they have been served, they are on notice and must obey the orders or they can be arrested.

Minella Law Group Can Help!

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If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence and need assistance obtaining a domestic violence restraining order the qualified staff at Minella Law Group can assist you. For more information or to schedule an appointment, click the button above, or call us at (619) 289-7948. We look forward to helping you.