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Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of January 11, 2024

Can I file to extend my final civil harassment order beyond five years?

You can apply to extend a civil harassment order without showing any further harassment since the original order was issued. At any time within the three months before the civil harassment order will run out, you can apply for a renewal of up to an additional five years. To file for a renewal, you must file a new petition for a civil harassment order and it is up to the judge to decide whether or not to extend it.1

1 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(j)(1)

What happens if the harasser owns a gun?

Anyone who has a civil harassment order against him/her cannot legally own, possess, or buy a gun or ammunition.1 If the harasser owns a gun, s/he must either give it to the police or sell it to a licensed gun dealer within 24 hours of the order being granted.2 If the harasser keeps the gun or ammunition in spite of the order, s/he could be guilty of a “public offense,” which could be punished by imprisonment in a county jail or state prison for up to one year, by a fine up to $1,000, or both.3

1 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(u)(1)
2 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(u)(2)
3 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(u)(3); Cal.Penal Code § 29825(a)

What happens if the harasser violates the order?

A violation of a temporary or final civil harassment order can be a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year, or both. If the violation results in you being physically injured, the fine can go up to $2,000.1

1 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(t); Cal.Penal Code § 273.6(a), (b)

If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?

According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:

  • the petition you file;
  • the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
  • the registration of an order in a different state.1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)