In California, as in several other states, there are laws designed to protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked or harassed. A restraining order (also referred to as a protective order) is a court order that a person can obtain to protect himself or herself from contact from the person being abusive or harassing. The court proceedings to obtain the protective order are separate from criminal charges, which often occur in criminal court simultaneously with the need for a protective order.
Restraining orders can be personal conduct orders which orders to stop specific acts against everyone named in the restraining order as a “protected person”. Examples of things that can be ordered to stop are contacting, calling, texting, attacking, battering, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, harassing, and destroying personal property.
A restraining order can also be a stay away order which is designed to keep the restrained person a certain distance from the protected person, where the protected person resides, his/her place of work, his/her’s children’s school, his/her vehicle, or other important places the protected person goes.
A restraining order can also exclude a restrained person from a joint home. The order “kicks out” the restrained person from the where the protected person lives and orders that he only go in to take clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing. This condition is usually only included in a domestic violence or elder/dependent adult abuse restraining order.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
To qualify for a domestic violence restraining order the protected person and the restrained person must be married or domestic partners, divorced or separated, dating or used to date, be living together or used to live together, co-parents of a child or closely related (i.e. parent, child, brother, sister etc.)
Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
An elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order is granted where the protected person is 65 or older, or the protected person is between the ages of 18 and 64 and has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep him/her from being able to do normal activities and care and protect for himself/herself. It must also be shown to the court that the protected person is a victim of physical or financial abuse, neglect or abandonment, given treatment that has physically or mentally hurt, or deprivation by a caregiver of basic things or services needed so the protected individual does not suffer physically, mentally or emotionally.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
Finally there is a civil restraining order that is used if the victim is harassed, stalked, abused or threatened by someone who is not a close person as required under the domestic violence orders. Examples would be a friend, neighbor or roommate.
Whether you are a seeking a protective order or seeking representation against a protective order, you want an experienced attorney who knows the law and can fight for your rights. Attorney Alex Ozols of Ozols Law Firm has years of experience and understands the law. He will do what is necessary in your case. Please call our office today.