Step 1: Fill out the necessary forms and file them in court.
To start your case, you will need to fill out the necessary forms from the courthouse or you can download the forms first from our LA Download Court Forms page and fill them out at home.
On the forms, you are the “petitioner” and the abuser is the “defendant.” Read the petition carefully and ask questions of the court clerk if you don’t understand something. Write about the most recent incidents of violence, using descriptive language, such as slapping, hitting, grabbing, choking, threatening, etc., that fits your situation. Be specific. Include details and dates, if possible.
A domestic violence organization may be able to provide you with help or support as you fill out the forms. See LA Advocates and Shelters for an organization near you.
Do not sign the application until you have shown it to a clerk. The form may need to be notarized or signed in the presence of court personnel, which will likely require you to have photo identification.