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Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order, also referred to as a "DVRO," is a civil protective court order aimed at stopping or preventing abuse and violence by prohibiting an abuser from having access to the victim and his or her family members. To obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in California there needs to be a special relationship between the parties. Some of the relationships include: spouses; former spouses; cohabitants; persons related by blood or marriage; partners with a child in common; partners in dating relationships.

Domestic Violence is physical violence, threatened violence, and/or intimidation which occur in a relationship for the purposes of establishing control and fear in the relationship. Domestic Violence includes the following behaviors:

  • Stalking
  • Slapping
  • Shoving
  • Kicking
  • Choking
  • Biting
  • Throwing things
  • Threatening
  • Harassing
  • Intimidation
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Economic Abuse
  • Vandalism.

A person (victim) seeking a Domestic Violence Restraining Order must demonstrate to the court by a "preponderance of the evidence" that abuse has occurred, been attempted, or been threatened. The abuse required in this type of case is not only physical abuse but includes verbal abuse as well, such as words which induce fear or imminent harm. Some behaviors that courts recognize as supporting issuing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order include:

  • Causing or attempting physical injury
  • Harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Vandalism
  • Stalking (including cyber stalking)
  • Kidnapping
  • Trespassing
  • Criminal Threats
  • Burglary
  • Annoying & repeated phone calls or texts.

A person seeking a Domestic Violence Restraining Order should first consult with an attorney and decide whether the victim will represent him or herself or hire an attorney. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best option because the abuser could take full advantage of the victim and probably escalate the violence or the abuse if the restraining order is not granted by the court.

The California laws regarding Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are complicated and require the skill of an attorney experienced in restraining orders. Consult with an attorney earlier rather than later to learn about your rights and legal options.