Long Beach | Los Angeles | Orange County Restraining Orders
There are three types of restraining orders available to Californians to protect them from domestic violence, abuse, stalking and harassment.
The three types of Restraining Orders are:
Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Orders,
Civil Restraining Orders (includes Civil Harassment, School and Workplace) and
Restraining orders to prevent Elder Abuse.
They are all very similar, although the Civil Restraining Order requires a higher level of proof than the other two. Once filed there are two hearings. The first is for the temporary order where a determination is made by the Judge or Judge Pro Temp whether or not the allegations of abuse or harassment form the basis for issuing a permanent restraining order. If there is a basis for issuing a permanent restraining order a temporary restraining order is issued and a court date is set for determining whether or not the allegations are true. If you are a person against whom a temporary restraining order (TRO) has been issued, don’t contact the other party to find out why they could go to court and say such lies about you. Other than really hurting your case; violations of a restraining order can result in criminal prosecution – even violations of a temporary restraining order. Sometimes the restraining order may not be enough to protect you; it is, after all, only a piece of paper. If the person restrained is likely to violate the restraining order and hurt you and/or your family and you are relocating as a result; you should look into a name change and the services offered by the state of California at California Safe at Home
Award of Attorney Fees in Restraining Orders
The court has discretion to award attorney fees to the prevailing (winning) party. If you do not win the case you may be ordered to pay some or all of the other party’s attorney fees even if you put on a good case. While the standard of proof for domestic violence cases is preponderance of the evidence (evidence is at least slightly more in favor of party requesting the restraining order); the standard for civil harassment restraining orders is much higher; and is called “clear and convincing”. Consequently it is possible to have attorney fees awarded against a losing party in a civil harassment restraining order, who actually had slightly better evidence in their favor than the winning party!
Criminal Restraining Order
Although a criminal restraining order may be issued as a result of prosecution of a victim’s criminal complaint against a defendant, I do not include it above because the police and the prosecuting office, not the victim, decide whether or not to go forward with the criminal charge which must underlie a criminal restraining order.