Legal Dictionary

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Emergency Protective Order

In California, an Emergency Protective Order, also known as an EPO, is a restraining order requested by a law enforcement officer when there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, child abuse, child abduction, workplace violence, or elder / dependent adult abuse. Usually the law enforcement officer has been called to a person's residence on an emergency or disturbance call. If the law enforcement officer feels there is an immediate need for the Emergency Protective Order, the officer will contact the court and speak to a judge or judicial officer who issues the order.

An Emergency Protective Order only lasts five court days or seven calendar days. A law enforcement officer who requests an Emergency Protective Order must reduce the order to writing, sign it, and file a copy with the court immediately after issuing the order. The officer must serve a copy of the order on the restrained person, if that person can be located. A copy of the order must also be given to: the protected person; their parent or guardian (who is not the restrained person) and who can reasonably be located, if the protected person is a minor; or to the person having temporary custody of an endangered child.

Once the Emergency Protective Order is issued it is important for the victim or victims to contact an attorney skilled in restraining orders and domestic violence issues that can assist in securing a more permanent restraining order.