domestic violence

What Proof Do I Need For A Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

To obtain a civil Domestic Violence Restraining Order, you need to prove the following key elements:

  1. Relationship with the Abuser: You must demonstrate that you have a specific type of relationship with the abuser. This often includes being current or former spouses, domestic partners, dating partners, cohabitants, or former cohabitants, or having a close familial relationship such as being closely related by blood or marriage.
  2. Acts of Abuse: You need to provide evidence of acts of domestic violence. Domestic violence can include a range of behaviors such as physical abuse such as hitting, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, threats, or stalking. It is important to detail specific incidents, including dates, times, and the nature of the abuse.
  3. Fear of Future Harm: It is necessary to show that you have a reasonable fear of future harm from the abuser. This includes explaining why you believe the abuse will continue or escalate without the protection of a permanent restraining order. The protective order can be issued for up to five years.
  4. Proof of Abuse: Evidence can include but is not limited to, physical injuries (photographs or medical reports), police reports, threatening messages or emails, witness statements, videos, or your own detailed account of the abuse.
  5. Credibility: The credibility of the parties involved plays a critical role. The judge will evaluate the believability of the victim or witnesses, the consistency of prior statements compared to courtroom testimony, and the conduct of the parties involved.
  6. Legal Standard of Proof: The legal standard of proof for obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order is “preponderance of the evidence.” This standard is less stringent than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is used in criminal trials. Under the preponderance of the evidence standard, the party seeking the restraining order must convince the court that it is more likely than not that the alleged abuse occurred. In other words, the scale of evidence needs to tip slightly in favor of the party seeking the restraining order.
  7. Court Hearing and Testimony: The party seeking the restraining order is required to attend a court hearing and provide testimony about the abuse. During this hearing, the judge will consider the evidence and determine whether to grant the restraining order. The abuser must be properly served with the TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) five days prior to the first court appearance.
  8. Temporary Restraining Orders: In most cases, you can obtain a temporary restraining order quickly, which will provide immediate protection until a full court hearing can be scheduled. If the TRO is granted, the court may order the abuser to comply with certain conditions: to stay away from the abused person; surrender firearms to law enforcement; residence exclusion; temporary custody & visitation orders of minor children.
  9. Legal Representation or Self-RepresentationBoth parties may hire a lawyer, representation, but people often represent themselves in these proceedings. Having a lawyer in your corner can help in presenting evidence effectively, meeting the legal standard of proof and arguing on your behalf. Whether you choose to have an attorney represent you, will depend on several factors, including the complexity of the case and your comfort level with legal proceedings.

Los Angeles Restraining Order Attorneys

Contact the experienced attorneys at Stephen G Rodriguez & Partners at 213-481-6811 for your free consultation and learn how we can assist you in obtaining your Domestic Violence Restraining Order.