Los Angeles Restraining Orders Lawyer
A restraining order is an order with a court that restrains someone from doing certain activities in order to protect another. Its purpose is to prevent someone from being physically abused, threatened, stalked, harassed, or otherwise harmed. Two important types of restraining orders are civil harassment restraining orders and domestic violence restraining orders.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
While family members can seek a domestic violence restraining order, people with different relationships, like neighbors, friends, co-workers, may seek protection from the court through a civil harassment restraining order.
A civil harassment restraining order can be granted if someone alleges harassment based upon unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person while serving no legitimate purpose. This can even include emails, texts, phone calls, or stalking.
Our attorneys are experienced with both obtaining and defending against restraining orders. If have been harassed and need a restraining order against someone, our experienced attorneys can guide you through the whole process. If you have been served with a temporary restraining order and your actions do not fit within the categories abbove, our attorneys can prepare to defend the matter in court against a permanent restraining order.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Victims of domestic violence have a legal right to seek a restraining order. In the California Family Code, the Domestic Violence Prevention Act defines abuse as any of the following:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury
- Sexual assault
- Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
- Engaging in any behavior that could be or has been enjoined, like molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting the other, disturbing the peace of the other.
If you have been a victim of abuse, our experienced attorneys can assist you in obtaining a domestic violence restraining order. To seek a domestic violence order against someone, you must have a certain type of relationship with that person, who may be a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, someone with whom the victim has or had a dating relationship, an immediate family member (mother, father, in-laws, siblings, adult children), or a person with whom a party has a child with. A victim of abuse who does not have one of these relationships can seek a civil harassment restraining order.
If you have been served with a temporary restraining order, our experienced attorneys can help you defend against it if the allegations are untrue. Our attorneys believe that no one should be able to fabricate claims against you and will guide you through the process to ensure your rights are protected.
Court Process to Obtain a Restraining Order
The general process to obtain a civil harassment restraining order or domestic violence restraining order includes several steps.
First, you (or your attorney) must complete several forms to apply for a temporary restraining order. These forms are complex, and our experienced attorneys can provide the guidance needed to prevail.
Once the forms are filed, the court will issue a temporary restraining order and a hearing date in 15-21 days to present all the evidence in the case. Next, the other party will have to be properly served with the restraining order and allowed to attend the hearing. Our attorneys can ensure that the service is effectuated properly and prepare for the hearing.
At the hearing, both sides will present evidence and the Judge will decide if your temporary restraining order should be a permanent restraining order for up to five years. Our attorneys can present evidence to prove a restraining order is in fact needed.
What to Do If Served With a Restraining Order
If you are served with a temporary restraining order, the first and most important step is to discontinue any activity that the order states. So, if you are ordered to stay a certain distance away from and not contact someone, then do not approach them or contact them for any reason. The penalties for violating a restraining order can vary depending on the circumstances. Misdemeanor violations are punishable by up to a year in prison and felony violations can be punishable by up to three years in prison.
Once you have complied with the temporary restraining order, the next step is to contact an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected. In most cases, you should file and serve an answer before appearing at the hearing. At Furman & Zavatsky LLP, our experienced attorneys can help you file and serve the necessary forms, prepare you for trial, and try to convince the judge that there is no need for a permanent restraining order by presenting evidence and questioning the witness.