CHAPTER 1. General Provisions, Secs. 6300-6306
6300. (a) An order may be issued under this part to restrain any person for the purpose specified in Section 6220, if an affidavit or testimony and any additional information provided to the court pursuant to Section 6306, shows, to the satisfaction of the court, reasonable proof of a past act or acts of abuse. The court may issue an order under this part based solely on the affidavit or testimony of the person requesting the restraining order.
(b) An ex parte restraining order issued pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6320) shall not be denied solely because the other party was not provided with notice.
6301. (a) An order under this part may be granted to any person described in Section 6211, including a minor pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 372 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(b) The right to petition for relief shall not be denied because the petitioner has vacated the household to avoid abuse, and in the case of a marital relationship, notwithstanding that a petition for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal separation of the parties has not been filed.
(c) The length of time since the most recent act of abuse is not, by itself, determinative. The court shall consider the totality of the circumstances in determining whether to grant or deny a petition for relief
6301.5. (a) A minor or the minor’s legal guardian may petition the court to have information regarding a minor obtained when issuing a protective order pursuant to this division, including, but not limited to, the minor’s name, address, and the circumstances surrounding the protective order with respect to that minor, be kept confidential.
(b) The court may order the information specified in subdivision (a) be kept confidential if the court expressly finds all of the following:
(1) The minor’s right to privacy overcomes the right of public access to the information.
(2) There is a substantial probability that the minor’s interest will be prejudiced if the information is not kept confidential.
(3) The order to keep the information confidential is narrowly tailored.
(4) No less restrictive means exist to protect the minor’s privacy.
(c) If the request is granted, except as provided in subdivision (d), information regarding the minor shall be maintained in a confidential case file and shall not become part of the public file in the proceeding or any other civil proceeding. Disclosure or misuse of that information is punishable as civil contempt of court with a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). An order of civil contempt under this subdivision shall not include imprisonment.
(d)(1) Information about a minor who is protected by an order issued pursuant to this division shall be made available to law enforcement pursuant to Section 6380, to the extent necessary and only for the purpose of enforcing the order.
(2) To the extent necessary for the enforcement of the order and to allow the respondent to comply with and respond to the order, confidential information shall be included in the notice sent to the respondent pursuant to this part. The notice shall identify the specific information that has been made confidential and shall include a statement that disclosure or misuse of that information is punishable as a contempt of court.
6302. A notice of hearing under this part shall notify the respondent that, if the respondent does not attend the hearing, the court may make orders against the respondent that could last up to five years.
6303. (a) It is the function of a support person to provide moral and emotional support for a person who alleges to be a victim of domestic violence. The person who alleges to be a victim of domestic violence may select any individual to act as a support person. No certification, training, or other special qualification is required for an individual to act as a support person. The support person shall assist the person in feeling more confident that the person will not be injured or threatened by the other party during the proceedings where the person and the other party must be present in close proximity. The support person is not present as a legal adviser and shall not give legal advice.
(b) A support person shall be permitted to accompany either party to any proceeding to obtain a protective order, as defined in Section 6218. Where the party is not represented by an attorney, the support person may sit with the party at the table that is generally reserved for the party and the party’s attorney.
(c) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, if a court has issued a protective order, a support person shall be permitted to accompany a party protected by the order during any mediation orientation or mediation session, including separate mediation sessions, held pursuant to a proceeding described in Section 3021. Family Court Services, and any agency charged with providing family court services, shall advise the party protected by the order of the right to have a support person during mediation. A mediator may exclude a support person from a mediation session if the support person participates in the mediation session, or acts as an advocate, or the presence of a particular support person is disruptive or disrupts the process of mediation. The presence of the support person does not waive the confidentiality of the mediation, and the support person is bound by the confidentiality of the mediation.
(d) In a proceeding subject to this section, a support person shall be permitted to accompany a party in court where there are allegations or threats of domestic violence and, where the party is not represented by an attorney, may sit with the party at the table that is generally reserved for the party and the party’s attorney.
(e) This section does not preclude a court from exercising its discretion to remove a person from the courtroom when it would be in the interest of justice to do so, or when the court believes the person is prompting, swaying, or influencing the party protected by the order.
6304. When making a protective order, as defined in Section 6218, where both parties are present in court, the court shall inform both the petitioner and the respondent of the terms of the order, including notice that the respondent is prohibited from owning, possessing, purchasing or receiving or attempting to own, possess, purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition, and including notice of the penalty for violation. Information provided shall include how any firearms or ammunition still in the restrained party’s possession are to be relinquished, according to local procedures, and the process for submitting a receipt to the court showing proof of relinquishment.
6305. (a) The court shall not issue a mutual order enjoining the parties from specific acts of abuse described in Section 6320 unless both of the following apply:
(1) Both parties personally appear and each party presents written evidence of abuse or domestic violence in an application for relief using a mandatory Judicial Council restraining order application form. For purposes of this paragraph, written evidence of abuse or domestic violence in a responsive pleading does not satisfy the party’s obligation to present written evidence of abuse or domestic violence. By July 1, 2016, the Judicial Council shall modify forms as necessary to provide notice of this information.
(2) The court makes detailed findings of fact indicating that both parties acted as a primary aggressor and that neither party acted primarily in self-defense.
(b) For purposes of subdivision (a), in determining if both parties acted primarily as aggressors, the court shall consider the provisions concerning dominant aggressors set forth in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 836 of the Penal Code.
6306. (a) Prior to a hearing on the issuance or denial of an order under this part, the court shall ensure that a search is or has been conducted to determine if the subject of the proposed order has a prior criminal conviction for a violent felony specified in Section 667.5 of the Penal Code or a serious felony specified in Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code; has a misdemeanor conviction involving domestic violence, weapons, or other violence; has an outstanding warrant; is currently on parole or probation; has a registered firearm; or has a prior restraining order or a violation of a prior restraining order. The search shall be conducted of all records and databases readily available and reasonably accessible to the court, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR).
(2) The Supervised Release File.
(3) State summary criminal history information maintained by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11105 of the Penal Code.
(4) The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s nationwide database.
(5) Locally maintained criminal history records or databases.
However, a record or database need not be searched if the information available in that record or database can be obtained as a result of a search conducted in another record or database.
(b)(1) Prior to deciding whether to issue an order under this part or when determining appropriate temporary custody and visitation orders, the court shall consider the following information obtained pursuant to a search conducted under subdivision (a): a conviction for a violent felony specified in Section 667.5 of the Penal Code or a serious felony specified in Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code; a misdemeanor conviction involving domestic violence, weapons, or other violence; an outstanding warrant; parole or probation status; a prior restraining order; and a violation of a prior restraining order.
(2) Information obtained as a result of the search that does not involve a conviction described in this subdivision shall not be considered by the court in making a determination regarding the issuance of an order pursuant to this part. That information shall be destroyed and shall not become part of the public file in this or any other civil proceeding.
(c)(1) After issuing its ruling, the court shall advise the parties that they may request the information described in subdivision (b) upon which the court relied. The court shall admonish the party seeking the proposed order that it is unlawful, pursuant to Sections 11142 and 13303 of the Penal Code, to willfully release the information, except as authorized by law.
(2) Upon the request of either party to obtain the information described in subdivision (b) upon which the court relied, the court shall release the information to the parties or, upon either party’s request, to the party’s attorney in that proceeding.
(3) The party seeking the proposed order may release the information to the party’s counsel, court personnel, and court-appointed mediators for the purpose of seeking judicial review of the court’s order or for purposes of court proceedings under Section 213.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(d) Information obtained as a result of the search conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) and relied upon by the court shall be maintained in a confidential case file and shall not become part of the public file in the proceeding or any other civil proceeding. However, the contents of the confidential case file shall be disclosed to the court-appointed mediator assigned to the case or to a child custody evaluator appointed by the court pursuant to Section 3111 of this code or Section 730 of the Evidence Code. All court-appointed mediators and child custody evaluators appointed or contracted by the court pursuant to Section 3111 of this code or Section 730 of the Evidence Code who receive information from the search conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be subject to, and shall comply with, the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System policies, practices, and procedures adopted pursuant to Section 15160 of the Government Code.
(e) If the results of the search conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) indicate that an outstanding warrant exists against the subject of the order, the court shall order the clerk of the court to immediately notify, by the most effective means available, appropriate law enforcement officials of the issuance and contents of a protective order and of any other information obtained through the search that the court determines is appropriate. The law enforcement officials so notified shall take all actions necessary to execute any outstanding warrants or any other actions, with respect to the restrained person, as appropriate and as soon as practicable.
(f) If the results of the search conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) indicate that the subject of the order owns a registered firearm or if the court receives evidence of the subject’s possession of a firearm or ammunition, the court shall make a written record as to whether the subject has relinquished the firearm or ammunition and provided proof of the required storage, sale, or relinquishment of the firearm or ammunition. If evidence of compliance with firearms prohibitions is not provided pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 6389, the court shall order the clerk of the court to immediately notify, by the most effective means available, appropriate law enforcement officials of the issuance and contents of a protective order, information about the firearm or ammunition, and of any other information obtained through the search that the court determines is appropriate. The law enforcement officials so notified shall take all actions necessary to obtain those and any other firearms or ammunition owned, possessed, or controlled by the restrained person and to address any violation of the order with respect to firearms or ammunition as appropriate and as soon as practicable.
(g) If the results of the search conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) indicate that the subject of the order is currently on parole or probation, the court shall order the clerk of the court to immediately notify, by the most effective means available, the appropriate parole or probation officer of the issuance and contents of a protective order issued by the court and of any other information obtained through the search that the court determines is appropriate. That officer shall take all actions necessary to revoke parole or probation, or any other actions, with respect to the restrained person, as appropriate and as soon as practicable.
(h) This section shall not delay the granting of an application for an order that may otherwise be granted without the information resulting from the database search. If the court finds that a protective order under this part should be granted on the basis of the affidavit presented with the petition, the court shall issue the protective order and shall then ensure that a search is conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) prior to the hearing.
6306.5 (a)(1) Petitions seeking domestic violence restraining orders under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 6320) and domestic violence temporary restraining orders under Part 4 (commencing with Section 240) of Division 2 may be submitted electronically in every trial court. Courts shall accept these filings consistent with the timeframe in Section 246.
(2) The notice of court date, copies of the request to mail on respondent, and the temporary restraining order, if granted, shall be remitted to the petitioner electronically.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the petitioner may elect to receive documents by regular mail or to retrieve documents from the court.
(b) The Judicial Council shall develop or amend rules and forms as necessary to implement this section.
(c) There shall be no fee for any filings related to a petition submitted electronically in accordance with this section.
(d) This section shall become operative only upon an appropriation of funds for this purpose in the annual Budget Act or other statute.
6308 A party, support person as defined in Section 6303, or witness may appear remotely at the hearing on a petition for a domestic violence restraining order. The superior court of each county shall develop local rules and instructions for remote appearances permitted under this section, which shall be posted on its internet website.