Permanent Restraining Orders
If you have endured ongoing abuse, violence, threats or harassment, chances are, you’d do anything within the bounds of the law to put a stop to it. Obtaining a permanent restraining order is exactly the tool to do this. When a judge grants your request for a permanent restraining order, the abuser or harasser is legally obligated to stop their behavior and, in some cases, required to stay away from you and your family.
At Power Trial Lawyers, our permanent restraining order lawyers are committed to finding a way to free you and your family from what you’ve been dealing with. We have extensive experience investigating, preparing and litigating all types of restraining orders, including Civil Harassment Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Workplace Violence Restraining Orders and Elderly Abuse Restraining Orders.What Is a Permanent Restraining Order?
In California, a Permanent Restraining Order is a legal order issued by a court to protect an individual from threats, harassment, abuse, or violence for an extended period. The person seeking a restraining order is referred to as the “petitioner,” and the person responding to a restraining order request is called the “respondent.” However, once either a temporary restraining order or permanent restraining order is granted by the court, the terms “protected party” and “restrained party” are typically used.What Are the Types of California Restraining Orders?
California law provides for four main types of restraining orders. Each restraining order applies to a different situation, and while there is technically some overlap, a Los Angeles restraining order attorney can confidently advise you on which type best fits your situation.Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (“DVRO”) is intended for individuals who've experienced abuse from someone they've had an intimate or familial relationship with, such as spouses, cohabiting partners, individuals they've dated, or close family members.Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
A Civil Harassment Restraining Order (“CHRO”) is aimed at offering protection against abuse, threats, or harassment from individuals you don't share a close relationship with. CHROs cover relationships with those such as roommates, coworkers, former acquaintances, or neighbors.Workplace Violence Restraining Orders
Employers can apply for a Workplace Violence Restraining Order (“WVRO”) to safeguard employees facing threats or violent behavior at work. This includes not just full-time employees but also volunteers, part-time staff, independent workers, and board members. In certain scenarios, the protection can also be extended to the employee's spouse.Elderly Abuse Restraining Orders
An Elderly Abuse Restraining Order (“EARO”) is designed to shield elderly or dependent adults from various forms of abuse. The term "abuse" here encompasses any actions that cause physical injury, discomfort, or emotional distress. As such, abuse includes actions like hitting, sexual assault, threats, and even neglect – such as withholding essential care or sustenance. It's important to note that abusive behavior doesn't necessarily have to be physical; for instance, financial exploitation falls under this category, too.
In addition, each of the above restraining orders comes in two types: Temporary Restraining Orders and Permanent Restraining Orders.What is the Difference Between a Temporary Restraining Order and a Permanent Restraining Order?
In California, both Temporary Restraining Orders (“TRO”s) and Permanent Restraining Orders (“PRO”s) serve to protect individuals from threats, harassment, or abuse. However, they differ in terms of their duration, issuance process, and purpose:
TRO: Typically short-term, a TRO can last up to 21 days but can be extended for another 21 days if necessary. Its purpose is to provide immediate protection until the court hearing for a permanent order takes place.
PRO: Granted after a court hearing, a Permanent Restraining Order can last up to five years in California. Before it expires, the protected party can request its renewal.
TRO: Generally issued without a formal court hearing and based solely on a written statement provided by the person seeking protection. In some cases, the person seeking a restraining order will need to swear under oath that they informed the respondent of the hearing for a TRO. However, judges are able to waive this requirement for good cause.
PRO: Granted after a formal court hearing where both parties can present evidence and testimony. It's issued only if the judge determines that there's sufficient evidence to justify long-term protection.
TRO: Offers immediate, temporary protection when there's an imminent threat or danger.
PRO: Provides long-term protection after a thorough examination of evidence, ensuring sustained safety from a potential threat or abuse.
In essence, while both orders aim to protect individuals, the Temporary Restraining Order offers swift, temporary relief, and the Permanent Restraining Order ensures prolonged safety after judicial scrutiny.How to Get a Permanent Restraining Order in Los Angeles
Obtaining a Permanent Restraining Order in Los Angeles involves a multi-step legal process. Here's how you can get started:Step 1: Begin with a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Often, before obtaining a Permanent Restraining Order, you will first apply for a TRO to ensure immediate safety. Visit the Los Angeles Superior Court or any local court to fill out the required forms explaining why you need protection. Once submitted, a judge will review the request, and if granted, the TRO will provide protection until the court conducts a hearing on your petition for a permanent order.Step 2: File the Appropriate Paperwork
For a Permanent Restraining Order, you'll need to complete several forms, including a 'Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order' or other relevant forms depending on the nature of your case, such as civil harassment, elder abuse, or workplace violence. The assistance of an experienced Los Angeles restraining order is recommended, as the court will rely on this form, as well as subsequently filed briefs when deciding what relief is appropriate.Step 3: Serve the Restrained Person
After you've filed your paperwork, the individual you're seeking protection from must be formally notified about the restraining order request and the hearing date. This is typically done by law enforcement or a professional process server. It's essential that you do not serve the paperwork yourself, as this type of service is not effective. If you make a mistake or fail to serve the respondent, they can contest service, and you may need to essentially start the process anew.Step 4: Attend the Court Hearing
It's crucial to attend the hearing scheduled by the court. Come prepared with any evidence, documents, or witnesses to support your case. The respondent also has the right to attend, present their evidence, and potentially contest the order. The judge will review the evidence from both sides.
Examples of evidence that is admissible in a restraining order hearing include the following:
- Written Declarations
- Text Messages and Emails
- Voicemails and Audio Recordings
- Witness Statements
- Police Reports
- Medical Reports
- Records of Prior Restraining Orders
- Verbal Testimony
After evaluating the evidence, the judge will decide whether to grant the PRO. If issued, the Permanent Restraining Order can last up to five years, and specific conditions will be laid out that the respondent must follow.Step 6: Keep the Order Accessible
Once you obtain a Permanent Restraining Order, keep a copy with you at all times. Share the order with relevant parties like your employer, school, or children's school so they are aware and can help enforce it.
It's recommended to consult with a Los Angeles restraining order attorney when seeing any type of Permanent Restraining Order, as courts require strict compliance with all procedural rules. Moreover, the respondent will likely be represented by counsel.Are You Looking for Help Getting a Restraining Order in Los Angeles?
If you are currently being harassed or subject to violence or threats of violence, the law provides you with a solution in the form of a permanent restraining order. At Power Trial Lawyers, our protective order lawyers are committed to developing strategic litigation strategies to ensure your interests are protected—both now and well into the future. To learn more about temporary restraining orders and to schedule a no-obligation consultation with Matthew Barhoma or another attorney at Power Trial Lawyers, call (213) 800-7664 or connect with us through our online contact form.