Can I Terminate My Restraining Order Early?

Restraining orders are put in place to protect one person from another. Physical abuse, threats, and stalking are a few reasons why a protective order is issued. A judge can assign an order to last up to five years. Circumstances, however, can warrant that a restraining order should be lifted.

If you are the complainant and want a California restraining order canceled, you should contact Palmer Rodak & Associates.

Consequences of Ending a Restraining Order

Before making your request to the court, you first need to thoroughly reflect on why you want to end the restraining order. If dissolved, the order cannot be reestablished without going through the process from the beginning. You will lose the ability to have the defendant arrested for violating the order. Criminal complaints filed against the defendant relative to the order might be dismissed.

One of our attorneys can fully explain the potential consequences to ensure you understand your rights and the potential ramifications of ending a protective order.

Factors the Court Considers When Evaluating the Request

The court will terminate a restraining order if there is good cause. A judge determines whether there has been a sufficient change to justify ending the order.

Here are factors a court considers when hearing a request to end a protective order:

  • Whether the complainant still is afraid of the defendant
  • The relationship between the parties
  • Whether the defendant was ever held in contempt for violating the order
  • Other violent acts committed by the defendant
  • If the defendant is using drugs and/or alcohol
  • Whether the defendant is attending domestic violence counseling

A judge will deny a request for dismissal if they believe the complainant was coerced into making the request. Dismissing a restraining order does not impact child custody and support orders associated with the restraining order. Any modifications to those orders are handled separately.

Types of Restraining Orders

Four kinds of restraining orders can be requested in California:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order: Protects someone who has been abused by a close relationship (spouse, boyfriend, dating, have a child together) or family member (parent, child, sibling, grandparent).
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order: Protects someone who is 65 or older or is between 18 and 64 and has certain physical and mental disabilities and who is a victim of physical or financial abuse or neglect.
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order: Protects someone from harassment, stalking, abuse, or threats of another person (not a close relationship).
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order: An employer can request this restraining order for an employee who has suffered stalking, harassment, violence, or threats at the workplace.

There are three types of domestic violence restraining orders:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO): A police officer responding to a domestic violence call can request an emergency protective order be issued. The judge only issues an EPO if they believe the other person is in immediate danger or that a child is in immediate danger of physical harm or kidnapping. These orders last no more than seven days. During this time, the person needing protection can file for a domestic violence restraining order.
  • Temporary (Ex Parte) Restraining Order (TRO): When someone files for a domestic violence restraining order, they can ask for a TPO to be in effect until the court hearing, which is usually within three weeks.
  • Final Restraining Order: Regardless of whether you ask for or were granted a TRO, you will receive a court hearing to explain your side. The defendant also has an opportunity to present their case. The judge then determines whether to grant a restraining order after the hearing.

If you have questions about restraining orders, schedule a consultation with an attorney at Palmer Rodak & Associates. Send us a message online or call (760) 573-2223.

If you are in imminent danger of domestic violence, call 911. For resources, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233).