How to Apply and Win a Permanent Restraining Order in California


A Permanent Restraining Order is a court order to permanently restrain a specific person from doing certain acts. Learn how Permanent Restraining Orders work.

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 order or protective order is a court order usually 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.

This article will discuss how you can apply for and win a permanent restraining order.

Permanent Restraining Orders


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 real 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, text messages, 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 have a chance to 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 that 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 an emergency protection order.

    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 restraining order 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 in nature and maintain you as a protected person, you have to 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 are saying 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.
      • Pictures immediately following the last incident can be significant evidence.


      Presenting Your Story

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


      Frequent Asked Questions


      What Is the Longest Restraining Order?

      A restraining order for life, which may be granted in certain domestic violence cases.

      How Hard Is it to Get Permanent Restraining Orders? 

      The process of securing a permanent restraining order can be complicated. Consult a Los Angeles restraining order attorney to assist you with legal advice, organizing witnesses, and presenting your case in court. Obtaining witnesses and evidence of abuse can be challenging but vital to winning your case.

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