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Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
April 4, 2019

What types of gun violence restraining orders are there? How long do they last?

There are three types of gun violence restraining orders: temporary emergency orders (ex parte orders that may be filed by law enforcement only), emergency (ex parte) gun violence restraining orders and gun violence restraining orders issued after notice and a hearing.

Temporary Emergency (ex parte) Gun Violence Restraining Order – Law enforcement (but not immediate family members) may ask a judge, orally or in writing, to issue a temporary emergency order any time of the day or night. The respondent does not need to be in the courtroom or have notice of the case for the judge to issue the order. This type of order remains in effect for up to 21 days after it is issued.1

Emergency (ex parte) Gun Violence Restraining Order - Law enforcement officers or the respondent’s immediate family member can file a petition to request that the judge issue an emergency ex parte gun violence restraining order.2 The respondent does not need to be in the courtroom or have notice of the case for the judge to issue an emergency ex parte order. Emergency ex parte orders last for up to 21 days.3

To issue an emergency ex parte gun violence restraining order, the judge must find that:

  • the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or another person by having in his/her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition; and
  • a gun violence restraining order is necessary to prevent personal injury to the respondent, you, or another person because less restrictive methods either have been tried and did not work or are inappropriate for the circumstances.4

Gun Violence Restraining Order after Notice and Hearing - Before the emergency ex parte order expires, the court sets a date for a hearing at which the respondent has the opportunity to be present and object to the order being issued. If the judge issues a gun violence restraining order after the respondent has notice and the opportunity to appear, the judge can issue the order for one year.5

1 Cal. Penal Code § 18125
2 Cal. Penal Code § 18150(a)(1)
3 Cal. Penal Code §§ 18125(a),(b); 18165
4 Cal. Penal Code § 18125(a)(2)
5 Cal. Penal Code § 18175(d)