How to File a Restraining Order

Before you file for a restraining order, research if doing so is right for your situation. Court-ordered restraining orders are limited in scope and they cannot remove an individual from your residence, order child support, or enforce orders for visitation or custody. If you are interested in filing a custody claim, having an individual removed from your home, or collecting child support, you may want to consult an attorney about other options available to help you complete these tasks.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. You can request a law enforcement officer to submit an Emergency Protective Order to a judge—however, Emergency Protective Orders only last five court days or seven calendar days.

If you are in a domestic violence situation, you can fill out the Domestic Violence Prevention forms. You can get a form from The Restraining Order Help Center, online at the Judicial Council State Forms page, or from bookstores and print shops that sell legal documents.

What Is a Restraining Order?

A civil harassment restraining order is a court order that protects people from harassment. In the event of harassment or targeted violence, you may consider filing for a restraining order. These orders can help you by preventing the person harassing you from threatening you, contacting or going near you, and carrying a gun.

Some situations where it may be appropriate to file a restraining order include those involving:

  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Acts of violence
  • Threats of violence

What Information Do I Need to File?

To file for a restraining order, you need to fill out Form CH-100, Request for Harassment Restraining Orders, and Form CLETS-001, Confidential CLETS Information. These forms will ask questions related to your case. Typically, you will need to have information on any other court cases you or the individual you are filing against have been involved with that would appear on your records. You will also need to define the terms of the restraining order. Be mindful that these forms are not an official court order.

Temporary Court Orders

You can designate on Form CH-100 whether you would like to file a temporary restraining order. If you select this option, the court will decide within 24 hours. In some cases, the court may decide earlier. Ask the clerk or call the clerk's office to determine if you should come back the next day or wait in the office for the Notice of Court Hearing and Temporary Restraining Order.

These court orders will last up until your decided court date. Depending on the verdict of the hearing, some temporary court orders can last up to five years.

Does the Person Find Out About the Restraining Order?

Someone 18 years or older must serve the order to the individual. You and all others listed under the order's protection are not allowed to hand over the order. The individual you select to serve the order must fill out a Form CH-200, Proof of Personal Service, to be filed with the court.

Permanent Restraining Orders

The court can initiate this order after a Temporary Restraining Order hearing. The judge must determine whether or not the temporary order should be extended. There are no set limits for the duration of a permanent restraining order. The details of each case play a large part in determining the period of the order. Domestic violence cases may be given a more extended order than a civil restraining order.

The Court Hearing

You must attend the hearing for your case. The individual you are filing against may come to the hearing, but they will not be permitted to communicate with you in any way. If you are fearful of being in the same room with the restrained, notify the court officer.

You do not need witnesses, and a lawyer is not a requirement. However, both witnesses and legal representatives can be an asset to your case. Witnesses or witness testimonies can help provide additional proof for your claim.

The following can be used in court to support your need for a restraining order:

  • Witnesses
  • Photos
  • Written statements from witnesses under oath
  • Medical or police reports
  • Threatening letters, e-mails, phone messages
  • Damaged property

The court may not allow your witnesses to speak during the hearing. If you have witnesses willing to testify, you may want to get written statements. You can use Form MC-030 to submit a statement under oath. Ask the clerk for more information about evidence and low-cost legal services.

Accessibility and Accommodation

For the hearing impaired, assistive listening systems, captioning, or sign language interpreters are available upon request. You must contact the clerk's office no less than five days before your hearing. You may also fill out a request online here.

Interpreters are also available for those who do not speak English. Depending on the court, you may be asked to pay a fee for an interpreter. Alternatively, you may also bring an interpreter who is over the age of 18 and not listed under your protection request.

If the situation changes and you and the restrained person both agree that you would like to cancel the order, you will be unable to do so. Only the court can decide to change the order or cancel it. You can file a request with the court to cancel the order, but you will need to wait on the court’s decision.

Are You in Need of a Restraining Order?

If you need a restraining order in the Oceanside or Del Mar areas, Palmer Rodak & Associates is ready to hear your case. Situations that necessitate a restraining order are terrifying and can feel hopeless. We understand that there is a lot at stake, and you may have loved ones who need protection. Don't hesitate to contact our attorneys. We have over 60 years of experience helping individuals in need of protection. Don't wait to get the help and support you need.

Contact Palmer Rodak & Associates at (760) 573-2223 today.