Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the worst things that can happen to a family, but unfortunately, it is all too common. More troubling is the fact that many victims fail to take action when they are abused or threatened — often because they’ve convinced themselves that everything is somehow their fault. If you have been emotionally or physically abused by someone who should be a loved one, it’s important to know that it is not your fault and that you have important legal rights that you can use to protect yourself.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is not just limited to acts of physical violence. It includes verbal threats, harassment, and property damage by an intimate partner or another member of the household. Domestic violence is often about control, and acts furthering that, such as harming or threatening to harm a person’s children, pets, or property are treated as if they were direct acts against the victim. There is also no requirement that the victim be physically injured, seek medical treatment, or even have previously called the police for domestic violence to have occurred.

How to Deal With Domestic Violence

In an emergency, always try to go to a safe place and dial 911 as soon as possible. While the police can help deal with active violence and the immediate aftereffects, you will want to go to court to seek a restraining order that prohibits your abuser from coming near you or having any form of communication with you. Filing for a restraining order is free, but you will need to provide a statement alleging facts constituting domestic violence, and the person you are seeking the order against has the right to contest the order.

Civil Harassment

Civil harassment is when a person commits acts similar to domestic violence but without having a close relationship to the victim. Domestic violence generally covers partners in intimate relationships and immediate family members. Civil harassment covers roommates with no other special relationship, neighbors, friends, and other casually related people. While there may not be a close relationship, civil harassment is just as serious as domestic violence.

Under the law, civil harassment includes the following acts:

  • Unlawful violence including assault, battery, and stalking
  • Credible threats of violence that seriously scare, harass, or annoy another without a valid reason for the threats

For a threat to be credible, a reasonable person who heard the threat would be afraid for their safety or the safety of their family.

What to Do About Civil Harassment

When civil harassment has occurred, it is possible to request a civil harassment restraining order barring the abuser from further contact with you. This generally includes both physical proximity and communications such as phone, email, and postal mail. To obtain the restraining order, you will need to go to court and petition for it. A temporary restraining order will usually be issued based upon your statements. A hearing date will then be set where the abuser will have a chance to dispute the allegations in court before a permanent restraining order is issued. The hearing will usually occur about three weeks after you file for the temporary restraining order.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a court order that protects victims of domestic violence and civil harassment. These actions include physical violence, verbal threats, and other behavior that is designed to alarm or annoy. Domestic violence is between intimate partners who are living together while civil harassment is by friends, distant family, coworkers, and others.

Temporary Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a court order that protects victims of domestic violence and civil harassment. These actions include physical violence, verbal threats, and other behavior that is designed to alarm or annoy. Domestic violence is between intimate partners who are living together while civil harassment is by friends, distant family, coworkers, and others.

Permanent Restraining Orders

After a temporary restraining order is issued, the person it is against will be notified and be given a chance to dispute the allegations in a hearing. If the court finds that the circumstances warrant it, a permanent restraining order will be issued. However, note that it is not really permanent because it will generally only last three years at which time you can apply for a new restraining order if needed.

A civil harassment restraining order may not be available if a domestic, elder, or workplace violence restraining order is more appropriate. If you’re in San Mateo County, Dublin, or surrounding areas in Northern California and need help figuring out what type of restraining order to seek or what you need to do to obtain it, contact Seo Family Law today.