Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
January 2, 2017

Can I get my out-of-state protection order enforced in California? What are the requirements?

Yes.  Your out-of-state protection order can be enforced in California as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case.  (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.) and
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled within a "reasonable time" after the order is issued.*1


Your protective order from a different state can be enforced both by judges as well as police officers in California.*2  A judge is required to even enforce parts of your order that could not legally be included in a California DVRO.*3  A California police officer can immediately enforce a protective order from another state so long as you have a copy that the officer believes is legitimate (valid).*4  So, it’s a good idea to always keep a copy of your order on you so that you can show it to a police officer if you need to.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protection order (MPO) off the military installation or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.


* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)(A)

*1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

*2 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code §§ 6402; 6403

*3 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6402

*4 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6403