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Domestic Violence / Restraining order


Domestic Violence

If you have been the victim of a violent incident or abuse at the hands of a family member, current or ex-spouse, current or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or partner, there are several legal actions you may take to prevent it from happening again.


Emergency protective order

If you ever need immediate help to avoid physical harm from an abuser, you should call 911. A police officer or sheriff responding to a domestic violence incident can call a judge (anytime, day or night) and ask for an emergency protective order that goes into effect immediately. An emergency protective order lasts for up to seven days. The emergency protective order can make the abusive person leave the home and keep that person away from you and your children, for up to seven days.

Since you need a police officer's assistance to get an emergency protective order, it is important to describe to him or her the abuser's actions and why you are afraid. If you want protection for a longer period of time, you need a Restraining Order.

Domestic Violence and Child Custody Sheet

Domestic Violence FAQ's


restraining order


What is a restraining order?

It is a court order that helps protect people from abuse.

What is abuse?

The domestic violence laws say "abuse" is:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
  • Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.


There are two main types of restraining orders:

  • A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is for people who have or have had a married or dating relationship or are closely related. The person seeking protection must have experienced actual physical violence or a credible threat of physical violence. These requests do not cost anything to file. Instruction to start a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Note: With few exceptions, this court does not like to make orders other than necessary custody/visitation orders in a Domestic Violence case. If you have property or support issues to address, it is best to do those in another case, such as a divorce or paternity action.
  • A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is appropriate if there is not a romantic or close familial relationship between the parties. Common examples of the types of restraining order are neighbor vs. neighbor, stranger vs. stranger, and distant relative vs. distant relative. The conduct that these orders try to prevent can range from annoying behaviors to physical abuse. Civil Harassment Orders can be made to stop a variety of behaviors, from repetitive phone calling to stalking and physical violence. It costs $355.00 to file a Civil Harassment Retraining Order unless physical harm or the threat of physical harm is present. In that case, fees may be waived. Instructions to start a Civil Harassment Order
  • Please also note that there are two additional types of restraining orders available:

  • Elder Abuse Restraining Orders - for seniors who are suffering physical, mental or financial abuse.
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Orders - Protects one co-worker from another.


For further information on how to request a restraining order visit the Judicial Council website. You may also visit the Court's Self-Help Center.


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