A restraining order is a legal document that is meant to protect a person from physical or sexual harm or harassment. Also called an order of protection, these documents can work to safeguard an individual and their families from another person that they believe is a threat. These types of orders are usually issued when the individual is a known person, such as a spouse, relative, or close acquaintance.
Types of Protective Orders Offered in CA
When a person gets a restraining order, they are asking the court to prevent another person from making physical or social contact. This may include keeping a person a safe distance away from a home, school, and place of employment. It may also result in one individual being forced to leave a shared home during a trial.
The main types of restraining orders in California include:
- Emergency Protective: Used by those that need immediate protection
- Domestic Violence: For those that are abused by someone they have a close relationship with
- Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse: When a person is older than 65 or between the ages of 18 and 64 with mental or physical disabilities and is a victim of physical or emotional abuse or abandonment
- Criminal Protection: Protects victims and witnesses from a defendant in a criminal case
- Civil Harassment: For those that are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone that they are not close enough with for a domestic violence restraining order
- Workplace Violence: Allows an employer to seek protection for an employee while they are at work
Each of these restraining orders will serve different purposes depending on the needs of the protected person. Other orders of protection can be used to serve very specific niches, such as those that need protection while living in transitional housing or those that need protection from a minor.
When a person goes to the courthouse to file for a restraining order, they may be able to obtain multiple orders depending on the needs of their case. A restraining order will take precedence over all other court orders. For example, if a person has child custody but a restraining order has been used to restrict their contact with the children, they are legally bound to the restraining order details.
When a person is served with a restraining order, they must follow the details of the order and turn in any guns they possess or they may be sentenced to jail time or forced to pay a fine.