How to File a Restraining Order in California

Filing a restraining order is stressful and complicated. Incorrectly filling out the paperwork, failing to obtain service, or failing to prove your case in court can have potentially life-threatening consequences. To ensure that you obtain the protection you need, consult an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the process.  

California courts recognize four different types of restraining orders, but the most common is a domestic violence restraining order. A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that protects someone from abuse at the hands of another with whom they have an intimate relationship. Filing a restraining order in California has 4 basic steps: 1) filling out the appropriate forms; 2) filing with the courthouse; 3) obtaining service; and 4) attending the court hearing.

1) Fill out the appropriate forms

The first step in filing a restraining order in California is to fill out a series of forms. Some of the forms are standard, while others are specially designed for applicants with special circumstances. The forms must be filled out correctly and filed with the correct corresponding documentation. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced lawyer help you fulfill the legal requirements of the paperwork to ensure that your application isn’t rejected by the court.

Basic forms

  • Form DV-100: Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order
  • Form DV-109: Notice of Court Hearing
  • Form DV-110: Temporary Restraining Order
  • Additional forms required by your local court, if applicable

Forms for applicants with children

  • Form DV-105: Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders
  • Form DV-140: Child Custody and Visitation Order
  • Form DV-108: Request for Order: No Travel with Children

Forms for monetary support

  • Form FL-150: Income and Expense Declaration
  • Form FL-155: Financial Statement (Simplified)

2) File your forms with the court

Once your forms are completed and have been reviewed by a qualified attorney, you or your attorney will file the forms at your local courthouse. The judge will issue a temporary restraining order that remains in effect until your hearing. Once all your paperwork is approved and filed, make copies to keep with you to show the police if necessary.

3) Serve the other party

Once the paperwork is filed, it must be served on the person the order is protecting you from. There are strict procedural guidelines for what constitutes acceptable service: it is best to consult an attorney to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled. Once the paperwork is served, you must file a notice of service with the courthouse.

4) Attend your court hearing

Your court hearing will be an emotional and stressful time for you and your family. An experienced lawyer can help you get all of your supporting evidence together prior to the hearing, as well as ensure that your rights are protected. After the hearing, the judge will approve or deny your request for a permanent restraining order. If your request is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision.

Protect your rights with Carroll Law Office

If you are interested in filing a restraining order or need legal help defending yourself against a unfounded restraining order, the Carroll Law Office can provide you with the experienced representation you need to protect your rights. For your free consultation, contact or call us at 707-536-1156.