Legal Information: California

Restraining Orders

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September 12, 2023

Who can file for a gun violence restraining order?

You can file for an ex parte gun violence restraining order and/or a gun violence order issued after notice and a hearing if 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. To file for a gun violence restraining order, you must be the respondent’s immediate family member, the respondent’s employer, a co-worker of the respondent, an employee/teacher at the respondent’s secondary or post-secondary school, or a law enforcement officer.1 You are considered an immediate family member if you are the respondent’s:

  • spouse (including a common law spouse if established in a state that recognizes common law marriage);
  • domestic partner;
  • parent;
  • child;
  • second-degree relative (such as an uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, grandchild, etc.); or
  • household member who regularly lives, or within the last six months regularly lived, in the respondent’s household.2

Only a law enforcement officer may file for a temporary emergency gun violence restraining order.3 If you believe such an order is needed on an emergency basis, you may contact the police and request that an officer file for it even when the courts are closed.

1 Cal. Penal Code §§ 18150(a)(1); 18170(a)(1)
2 Cal. Penal Code § 422.4(b)(3)
3 Cal. Penal Code § 18125

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