Under California law, a temporary restraining order, or TRO, and long-term restraining order can offer protection to victim of abuse.
The difference between a TRO and a standard restraining order is that a TRO can be granted by a judge without the court’s first allowing both sides to present evidence at a hearing. The TRO will usually last for about a month, until the court can hold a hearing. Protective orders issued after a hearing can last for up to 5 years.
The definition of abuse is broad in California
Sacramento residents who are victims of domestic violence can ask for the court’s protection in response to a number of behaviors which the law defines as abuse.
In addition to physical or sexual assaults, abuse also includes any behavior that would make a reasonable person afraid of being hurt. Stalking, harassing and other unwanted contact can also be abuse depending on the circumstances.
It is important for a victim to understand that the police do not need to be involved in order for her to file for a TRO or standard restraining order and for the court to grant her requests. Especially if there was not police involvement, a victim may want to speak to an experienced attorney about how to proceed.
A court’s restraining can put legal restrictions on an abuser
Restraining orders in California have a long reach. Courts can use them to order a person to have no contact with a victim or the victim’s children.
A restraining order can also require an abuser to move out of the family home if he still lives there. The order may require the abuser also to stay a certain distance from the victim and stay away from places where the victim frequents, like her home or workplace.
In some cases, a judge may order a perpetrator temporarily to surrender firearms to the authorities and may make orders one would expect to see in a divorce case, including child custody and support orders.