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Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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January 11, 2024

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

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;1
  • 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.2

Your protective order from a different state can be enforced both by judges as well as police officers in California.3  A judge is required to even enforce parts of your order that could not legally be included in a California DVRO.4  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).5  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.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)(A)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)
3 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code §§ 6402; 6403
4 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6402
5 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6403