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How to Apply and Win a Permanent Restraining Order in California

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What Is a Restraining Order?

If you are in a situation where you don’t feel secure because of potential harm threatened by an offender, you can always seek a restraining order against that offender for that potential harm.

A restraining or protective order is issued for harassment, domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or emotional abuse. The court can also grant a permanent restraining order when an imminent danger exists.

A permanent restraining order can last up to five years. The purpose of this order is to continuously protect the individuals seeking safety.

Permanent Protective Order

A permanent restraining order is the best choice for protection against dangerous circumstances in the long term. It is also known as a permanent protective order.

California law requires a hearing before a permanent protective order can be granted by a court.

While waiting for your permanent protective order hearing, you can apply for a temporary restraining order by providing evidence that you are in danger. A temporary restraining order will last for a few weeks, followed by a court hearing to decide on a permanent restraining order.

Permanent protective order restrictions include prohibitions against stalking, attacking, or communicating with the petitioner. The specified distance is about 100 yards from the protected person.

The restrictions cover phone calls, texts, emails, letters, and physical contact. In some cases, there is no contact using any social media platforms.

Sometimes, other persons are protected by restraining orders, such as family or household members or friends of the protected person.

How to Apply for Permanent Restraining Orders

To apply for a permanent restraining order, you need to fill out and submit the relevant paperwork to a county court.

In your application, you will be required to explain the situation and why you need protection from your offender. As a person requesting a permanent restraining order, you will be known as a petitioner in your application.

You can also apply for a temporary restraining order while waiting for your case to be heard. The judge will review the evidence submitted thus far to determine whether you should be granted a temporary restraining order. During this process, the offender is not required to be present in court.

What Happens at a Permanent Restraining Order Hearing?

At the permanent restraining order hearing, both parties can present their case to the judge. At this point, parties should ideally have legal representation to paint a complete picture of the situation.

There is no jury at a permanent restraining order hearing. Whether the judge decides to issue a permanent restraining order depends entirely on how you present your case.

A restraining order attorney can help you explain to the judge why the restraining order should be permanent rather than temporary. If the judge is convinced you are in severe danger, they will order an immediate permanent restraining order limited to five years.

However, the restrained person can submit a petition to have the permanent restraining order canceled after five years in cases of domestic violence restraining orders. They can do this with the help of a qualified expungement attorney in Los Angeles.

How to Win Your Permanent Restraining Order Hearing

The following circumstances are likely to increase your chance of winning your permanent restraining order hearing in California:

  • The person you want to be restrained must have threatened to harm you or have already harmed you
  • You must have a close relationship with this person. According to the state of California, an intimate relationship is a relationship between:
  1. Registered domestic partners
  2. Divorced partner
  3. A former or current boyfriend or girlfriend
  4. A current or former cohabitant
  5. Someone you share child custody with
  6. Immediate relative parent, brother, sister, child, grandfather, grandmother

What Are the Chances of Winning a Restraining Order?

Under California law, temporary restraining orders can be issued on the same day of filing. In most cases, the restrained person is not present. Temporary restraining orders require little evidence because they have a limited duration and serve as emergency protection orders.

The restrained person may already be incarcerated. They may get a restraining order when they are released as part of their probation requirements. If they think the restraining order is unlawful, they may seek the services of a Los Angeles probation violation attorney to challenge it.

Compared to temporary restraining orders, permanent restraining orders are not that straightforward to obtain.

County court civil procedure requires a higher level of physical evidence, written statements, and testimonials for a permanent restraining order. The court demands details on acts, patterns, and history of alleged harassment or domestic abuse. These cases are almost always won with the help of third-party witnesses.

Consult a Los Angeles Restraining Order Attorney today to get assistance with your permanent order application.

Chances of Winning Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Winning a domestic violence restraining order is easier than a permanent one because you only need reasonable proof.

It involves the judge reviewing the petitions from the applicant on behalf of themselves or their minor children. If petitions show a pattern of domestic violence, then a restraining order is issued.

Additionally, it is straightforward to apply for a domestic violence restraining order renewal.

The petitioner files a request for renewal three months before the previous order expires. The judge considers the petitioner’s request and directs the authorities to issue another permanent order.

This renewal doesn’t need proof of evidence. Your protection order remains permanent by court order until further notice.

What Proof Do You Need to Win a Restraining Order?

For a temporary restraining order, all you need is your sworn statement. The court generally decides with your safety in mind.

However, if you want the restraining order to be permanent and maintain you as a protected person, you must present evidence that you are a protected person.

Some of the evidence you can present in court is discussed below.

Filing a Sworn Statement

It would help if you could paint a picture of what the offender has done or threatened to do to you. Be specific about what you believe they might do if the order does not cover you. For example, have you experienced domestic violence, or has the offender threatened bodily harm?

Presenting Witnesses

A witness confirms to the court that what you say is true. Your case is more robust when corroborated by a witness.

Presenting Pictures and Documents

You should show the court any photos or documents as evidence of domestic abuse. They can be: letters or text messages, pictures of your damaged car or home, or Pictures immediately following the last incident can be significant evidence.

Presenting Your Story

You should be as specific and detailed as possible. For example, instead of stating that your abuser swore to harm you, you should state exactly what they threatened to do to you.

Can a Permanent Restraining Order Be Contested Or Appealed in California?

In California, a permanent restraining order is generally considered a civil order, separate from criminal court proceedings. However, it can have serious implications, including being considered in future criminal offense cases or family law matters. The restrained person has the right to contest or appeal the order, but the process is complex and time-sensitive.

The court process for contesting a permanent restraining order usually begins with a hearing where both parties present their case. If the order was issued due to allegations of criminal sexual conduct, attempted criminal solicitation, or offenses of a high and aggravated nature, the burden of proof is substantial. The restrained person may present evidence to counter the claims, such as proof that they are not only victims of false accusations but also have a legitimate reason for their actions.

If the court determines that the restraining order was wrongly granted, it can be appealed or modified. This is particularly relevant in cases where family members are involved or where the restrained person transfers certain personal property items as mandated by the original order. In some instances, if the petitioner pleads guilty to charges like child prostitution or criminal solicitation, the restraining order may be reconsidered.

It’s crucial to note that contesting or appealing a permanent restraining order is a complicated legal process that should not be undertaken without professional legal advice. The rules of evidence and procedure are strict, and a misstep could result in the order being upheld, with additional penalties for violating it.

In summary, while it is possible to contest or appeal a permanent restraining order in California, the process is fraught with legal complexities. Given the potential for such an order to impact criminal court proceedings and family law matters, it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals experienced in these areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

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