Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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April 4, 2019

Am I eligible to file for a DVRO?

You can file for a domestic violence restraining order if you or your minor child have been the victims of domestic violence from:

  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • A person you are dating or used to date (it does not have to be a sexual relationship), including a same-sex partner;
  • The mother or father of your child;
  • A person related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption (such as a mother, father, child, brother, sister, grandparent, or in-law);
  • A person who regularly lives or used to live in your home1 (but you must have a closer relationship than just roommates. Note: If you need a protective order against a roommate, you may qualify for a civil harassment order).2

Even if the most recent act of abuse happened some time ago, the length of time between the most recent act of abuse and the date you filed your petition should not be the determining factor that a judge uses to determine if you can get an order. The judge is supposed to consider the totality of the circumstances (the "whole picture") in determining whether or not to grant you a DVRO.3

Minors who are 12 years old or older can file for restraining orders without the assistance of a parent or guardian. However, if you are under 18 and living with a parent or guardian, a copy of the restraining order must be sent to at least one parent or guardian, unless the judge determines that doing so would not be in your best interest.4

1 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6211
2California Courts Self-Help Center
3 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6301(c)
4 Ann.Cal. C.C.P. § 372(b)(1) & (2)