Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)

Are you currently in an abusive relationship? Do you need immediate assistance obtaining an emergency order, a temporary restraining order, or a long-term domestic violence restraining order?  Consider contacting any of the Domestic Violence prevention agencies serving Placer County and Sacramento County on our Domestic Violence Prevention page to develop a safety plan.  If you are viewing this article on a shared electronic device, we strongly encourage that you learn how to clear your browser history for your own safety. The attorneys at Hughes Law Group can provide immediate help with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order to ensure you are safe and protected from harm at the hands of a domestic abuser.

California law defines domestic violence as abuse, which can include physical and harm, and reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury between domestic partners or people who share a living space (Cal. Family Code §6211).  Domestic violence is not limited to married, heterosexual couples. If you share a living space with an intimate partner, and they have made threats of violence toward you, or are physically, mentally, financially and emotionally abusing you, you deserve to feel safe, and you deserve justice. Domestic violence also includes abuse between parents and children, step-children and blended families. In addition, if the respondent(abuser) and you share children together, you can obtain a restraining order on behalf of your child against the respondent to keep your child safe as well (Cal. Family Code § 6203).  If you need immediate help on a weekend or overnight, report the abuse to police or the sheriff and request an emergency restraining order. Afterward, you can contact Hughes Law Group to prepare a temporary restraining order application. Our attorneys limit their practice solely to family law matters, including representing clients seeking and defending domestic violence restraining orders.

An emergency order is sought by law enforcement directly to the court officer when the officer is at the scene of a crime or a domestic violence call (Cal. Family Code § 6250). The emergency restraining order is valid for only five to seven days, during which the victim should apply for a temporary restraining order, or TRO.  Here is the link for the forms packet and instructions for a Temporary Restraining Order in Sacramento County.  Here is the link for the forms packet and instructions for a Temporary Restraining Order in Placer County.  These forms can be very difficult to draft, file and serve alone.  We can help with any aspect of this process starting at the initial application through full representation at trial if necessary.

A TRO is granted by a judge and is considered valid until a final hearing for a permanent restraining order is held. The TRO comes with various protections, and the petitioner is only required to prove that they are in danger or have suffered abuse, and that the abuser is either a spouse, family member, parent, or intimate partner that shares a living space to secure a temporary order. A TRO can require the abuser to remain away from the family home, surrender firearms, pay temporary child support, remain away from shared children, and stay away from the victim’s school, place of work or the child’s school. The assigned judge can also order the Respondent to pay temporary child support, emergency family maintenance funds, or attend counseling. The judge can grant additional relief or extend relief when the victim files a domestic violence restraining order.

If the victim desires to pursue the process, they can obtain domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) against the Defendant/Respondent. A hearing is scheduled before a family law judge after the Respondent has received notice. The Petitioner must prove that they served the Respondent notice of the DVRO hearing date or has diligently attempted to serve the Respondent (Cal. Family Code §6340(a)(2)(A)). The Respondent can choose to attend and prepare a defense, but their attendance is not compelled, and a judge can order a DVRO effective without the Respondent’s presence in the courtroom. In that case, notice of the DVRO would be served upon the Respondent and the DVRO would remain effective. The petitioner must establish past acts of abuse, physical or emotional to the satisfaction and discretion of the judge for the DVRO to be issued.

If the Defendant was charged with battery, assault, aggravated assault or another violent crime in a domestic context, the judge may make a criminal protective order against the Defendant/Respondent in the interest of protecting the victim and stopping the furtherance of additional violent crimes of a domestic nature. Any finding of domestic violence or issuance of a TRO or DVRO does impact a child custody or divorce case Cal. Family Code §3044.  When making custody determinations, a judge will be provided by court staff (usually the bailiff) with criminal history and domestic violence history for both parties.  But, even if evidence of abuse is present, the Respondent/Defendant can still apply for visitation and the Court will determine if visitation with the child is in the child’s best interest. Therefore, it is crucial to seek the advice of experienced family law counsel regarding child custody and domestic violence. If you share children with your abuser, act immediately to protect your family’s safety and preserve your custody rights. The attorneys of Hughes Law Group have extensive experience in family law including domestic violence prevention.  

Contact Hughes Law Group for Immediate Assistance If you are suffering domestic abuse and require immediate help, contact Marc and Melanie Hughes at Hughes Law Group today. Our attorneys serve the entire Sacramento County and Placer County region.  They understand how sensitive and emotional these issues can be. We are ready to help you develop a safety plan and file a restraining order against your abuser.  Call today or schedule a confidential consultation through our website to review your options.

Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order