Select Results on Civil Restraining Orders
Please click on our civil restraining order cases and read a detailed description of each case.
Anyone who reads more than one or two of the above case results will see that there are several distinct areas of civil restraining orders. Shown above are three categories: 1) a domestic violence or threats of violence or abuse situation; 2) a neighbor, roommate or distant family member situation; and 3) as employment or workplace violence situation. There is a fourth category not shown in a summary above and is the elder abuse or dependent adult abuse situation.
The domestic violence or threats of domestic violence or abuse situation is by far the most common reason for someone to seek a civil restraining order.
Often, the police suggest or recommend this after a person calls the police to report domestic violence. This can be a report of kicking, hitting, pushing, shoving, pulling hair, throwing things, abuse of family pets or even verbal abuse (including cyber bullying) between two people in or formerly in a romantic relationship.
The parties involved may be boyfriend-girlfriend (or soon to ex’s), husband-wife, gay lovers, ex-husband and ex-wife, unmarried parents of a child, or close family members even of the same sex, i.e. mother daughter. Family Code §§ 6200 - 6220 sets forth the relationships covered, as well as the types of conduct that such a civil restraining order can enjoin. Section 6320 sets for the types of conduct that can be ordered stopped by a judge, upon a showing of good cause, and 6321 includes provisions that allow a judge to order someone moved from the family home.
It is important to note that the request for a restraining order must not seek punishment for past acts, but must persuade the judge that if such an order is not ordered stopped, the type of conduct and danger at issue will continue into the future. Russell v. Douvan (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 399.
The second type of restraining order that we commonly see filed or served upon a client is the neighbor versus neighbor, or unrelated (non-familial) roommate versus roommate or distant family member versus distant family member situation. There can be stalking, including cyber stalking, unlawful violence, trespassing or threats of violence made between the parties from situations involving parking, dog feces clean up, tree trimming, bright lights, loud noises, offensive odors or anything else that one might consider a nuisance or bother.
In this second type of situation, Civil Code § 527.6(b) applies, which requires that the party seeking the restraining order prove the situation exists by clear and convincing evidence. This is evidence that is strong and credible. It bears repeating that the petitioner needs to allege future harm if the order is not granted.
The third type of restraining order that is quite uncommon, but is sought occasionally, is one to stop workplace violence. The context of this is usually to prevent a recently fired employee from returning to the workplace to argue, harass, stalk, molest or commit physical violence. Civil Code § 527.8(b) covers the legal standard for such an order, which is clear and convincing evidence. It merits emphasizing that the petitioner for such an order must argue and persuade the judge that without the order, the future safety of the employee or employer is at risk.
The last type of restraining order is the saddest type we see. It involves elder or adult dependent care abuse. This can take many contexts, but the most common is physical or financial abuse, however, it can also include neglect (or even deprivation by a caregiver of basic services that result in physical, mental or emotional suffering), abduction, isolation and prescription drug abuse. To qualify as an elder person one must be 65 years old or older. To be a dependent adult, one must have mental or physical disabilities.
Welfare & Institutions Code § 15610.07 covers the types of abuse, but Civil Code § 527.9 addresses the legal standard. There must be immediate and present danger, proven by clear and convincing evidence.
In all of these scenarios, the testimony of each party is likely to be emotional and susceptible to credibility issues, so judges do appreciate witnesses and attorneys who tailor their presentation to the legal standards that apply and are respectful of the judge’s time.
For more information about restraining orders, click on the following articles:
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