A restraining order is a court order granted by a judge restricting what an individual can and cannot do concerning the alleged victim. California has various types of restraining orders to grant protection to victims in different situations, such as domestic violence or workplace harassment. Learn the facts about restraining orders in California and see why working with an experienced restraining order attorney may be the right choice for you. If you need legal assistance concerning restraining orders, call The Hurwitz Law Group at 323-310-9677.
A restraining order (sometimes called a protective order) prohibits the restrained party from engaging in certain behaviors and actions that can affect or threaten the protected person. Depending on the severity of the situation, a restraining order can prevent the alleged abuser from having direct and indirect contact with the protected person.
Direct contact means being physically present near the victim and face-to-face communication, while indirect contact can include text messages, phone calls, social media interactions, or contact through third parties. If the restrained party poses a credible threat to the protected party's physical and emotional well-being, the judge may specify that the restrained party is not to have any type of communication with the protected person and may even include details about the specific minimum distance the restrained person must maintain from the victim's home or work. The goal of a restraining order is to give the protected party some space while preventing the threat of being affected by any further abusive behavior.
In general, restraining orders are a civil procedure initiated by the person who wishes to receive protection. It is usually handled in a civil court and requires the party seeking protection to show evidence to support their request and convince the court that they believe they may be in imminent danger due to another person's behavior and violent actions. The goal is to protect the victim from any further harm and could include restrictions that prohibit the restrained party from approaching or communicating with the protected person.
In contrast, a no-contact order is usually issued in connection with a crime. If, for example, a person suffers any type of domestic violence abuse and a criminal case is initiated, the prosecutor in charge of the case may issue a no-contact order, which usually prevents the accused party from approaching the victim and, in some cases, may also prevent the accused party from engaging in any type of direct and indirect communication with the victim.
There is a specific type of restraining order that can protect one or more employees of a business from threats such as civil harassment, criminal harassment, physical violence (including different forms of sexual assault), as well as any credible threat of violence (even if a violent act did not actually occur but was apparently imminent to the victim or victims) or threatening behavior that would lead someone to fear for their safety.
A workplace violence restraining order can offer both civil and criminal harassment protection to a victim and is restricted to a person's place of employment. In order to obtain a workplace violence restraining order, an employer needs to file on behalf of their employee(s) to grant them protection at the workplace. Unlike a civil harassment or domestic violence restraining order in which the victim of the violence or abuse comes forward and requests protection from the court, a workplace violence restraining order can only be filed by the victim's employer. Likewise, the employer is also the only party that may request a temporary order for the same reason.
If the protected party in a workplace violence restraining order still has reasons to believe they may be at risk while outside of their work environment, they may be able to file a civil harassment restraining order. This type of restraining order is not typically restricted to the protected party's place of employment and may be beneficial if, for example, the protected party is afraid that the restrained party may follow them home or engage in violent behavior outside of the workplace. A civil harassment restraining order is initiated by the victim instead of their employer, and it is usually up to the victim to show the judge that they have reasons to believe they are in immediate danger and that the other person is a threat to their physical safety and mental well-being.
Permanent protection orders usually last for a maximum of five years. If, by the time your restraining order expiration approaches, you still believe you need protection, California courts allow you to apply for a protective order renewal.
This process can usually be done at no cost but needs to be initiated before the restraining order expires. If you allow the restraining order to expire, you may need to restart the entire process to obtain a new restraining order. A restraining order can be continuously renewed every five years, and there is no limit to how many renewals you may request. In some cases, the court may issue a renewal without an expiration date, making the restraining order last indefinitely.
If you need help obtaining a restraining order, have questions, or need to know how to respond to a protection order filed against you, reach out to the Hurwitz Law Group. Our restraining order lawyers serve clients in Sherman Oaks and surrounding areas. Call 323-310-9677 to learn more.