This presentation by the California Lawyers Association discusses what types of acts are considered domestic abuse in California and can serve as a basis for obtaining restraining orders.
The video also discusses:
• Emergency Protective Orders, Temporary Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence Restraining Orders;
• How to get help in preparing forms necessary to obtain a restraining order;
• The different types of orders available in a Domestic Violence Restraining Order request;
• The hearing and the applicant’s right to bring a support person;
• The consequences of a domestic violence restraining order when custody is an issue;
• How to extend a restraining order.
Full Video Transcript Below
– My name is David Lederman.
I’m a Certified Family Law Specialist.
– And I’m Michele Brown,
I’m a Certified Family Law Specialist,
and we’re from the California Lawyers Association
and we’re here to give you some information
on what to do if you’re a victim of domestic violence.
David, what is domestic violence?
– Domestic violence is a term under the statute.
What we’re really talking about is domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse includes threats of physical injury,
assault, stalking, threats of physical harm,
emotional or psychological abuse,
including harassment and disturbing the peace.
– Harassment and disturbing the peace, wow.
What exactly does that mean?
Well, harassment and disturbing the peace
can be such things as repeated, unwarranted text messages,
emails, voicemails, or calls from the other party.
Even such things as the other party saying,
“I love you, I want you back.”
If it’s unwarranted and it’s unwanted
and you’ve asked that person to stop, it’s domestic abuse.
If they show up uninvited at your place
of employment, your kids’ school,
you’ve asked them to stop, that’s uninvited.
If they post harassing or inappropriate
messages about you on social media,
that’s harassment and disturbing the peace.
If they impersonate you on an email, on Facebook,
or any other means, that’s domestic abuse.
If they block your movement,
if they take your keys or your cell phone
when you’re trying to call the police,
that’s domestic abuse.
David, what is emotional or psychological abuse?
– What we’re talking about under the concept
of domestic violence is power and control dynamics.
When one person’s trying to manipulate
and control you by harassment,
that is domestic abuse, and it’s not okay.
– And remember, abuse can be spoken,
written, or conduct.
David, what kind of a relationship is there
between persons in order to get a domestic violence
restraining order against someone?
– In order to get a domestic violence restraining order
under the Domestic Violence Protection Act,
the people that are seeking relief must be either spouses,
parents of a child, related by blood, marriage or adoption.
If it’s not one of these specified relationships,
the relief is not available
under the Domestic Violence Protection Act.
They must seek a civil harassment restraining order.
What do you do if you’re a victim, Michele?
– Well, the first thing you do
if you’re a victim is call the police.
9-1-1 is your best friend.
And then when the police come out,
they assess the situation and they can get
what’s called an emergency protective order.
An emergency protective order is where
the police officer is able to call the judicial officer
who is on call 24 hours a day,
and is able to issue an emergency protective order
protecting you, your children,
or any members of your family for up to seven calendar days
or five business days, whichever is sooner.
And the police also will usually
remove the alleged perpetrator from the home
so that you’re free from harm.
Now David, I’ve got my EPO, what do I do next?
– The EPO is an emergent protection.
It’s to give you time to go to court
and ask for a more longer-term relief.
And that gives you the opportunity to go to court
and ask for what’s called a temporary restraining order,
commonly referred to just as a TRO.
How do you apply for a TRO?
– Well, the first thing that you can do
is you go to either your local court,
your family justice center, your family law facilitator,
or one of your domestic violence restraining order clinics,
and they can help you complete all of the paperwork
that you need to get a domestic violence
temporary restraining order.
There is something that’s called a DV-100 form,
and with the assistance of one of these people,
you complete the DV-100 form and you submit it to the court.
What type of things may I request for in my domestic
violence temporary restraining order, David?
– Well, you can ask for a stay away order
for a certain number of yards.
Typically, people when they ask for a restraining order,
ask for a hundred-yard stay away.
You can ask the person to stay away from your home,
your car, your place of employment,
your school, your children’s school.
It’s to ensure your protection.
You can also ask in this domestic violence restraining order
for temporary custody of a child, control of cell phone use,
access and control over your cell phone.
Sometimes people will use the cell phone access
as a way of continuing the domestic violence.
You can ask for temporary support in the restraining order,
and the court will grant
those financial aspects usually after a hearing.
– So David, how long is this temporary
restraining order usually good for?
– The temporary restraining order is usually
good for up to 25 days.
You have a right to a speedy hearing.
Now if you’re not prepared,
the person who the restraining order’s issued against
can ask for a continuance of up to another 25 days,
or longer if the party’s agreed to waive
the time necessary, required for the hearing.
Well, what do you do at the hearing, Michele?
– So there is something called the domestic violence
restraining order hearing,
and that’s the day where you go to court.
That’s the day where the judge is going to hear
the evidence from you and from the restrained party.
And the judge is going to make a decision
whether he or she believes that your restraining order
should continue on a more permanent basis.
And when you go to the restraining order hearing,
you need to be prepared, you need to have with you
any witnesses that you believe will be able
to testify on your behalf.
If you have any evidence of what happened,
any police reports, any photographs of any abuse,
copies of the text messages, the emails,
the social media posting, any information or evidence
that you believe would be helpful for you
to tell the judge why he or she should grant
your restraining order on a more permanent basis,
you should bring that with you
and be prepared to present that at trial.
What if I can’t afford an attorney
David, what if I can’t afford an attorney,
and I’m a little bit afraid of the restrained party?
Can I bring anyone with me?
– Yes, you can bring a support person,
an advocate, with you.
You can also get help from the facilitator’s
office at the local court.
Each of the court has what’s called a facilitator’s office.
Their job is to help you fill out the paperwork
to get the relief that you need,
and they can help you fill out all the forms,
they can help you pick which forms it is that you need.
In addition, remember, this temporary restraining order
that’s issued after a hearing is good for up to five years.
The court will decide how long
the restraining order is necessary.
However, after the five-year restraining order,
towards the end of that restraining order,
however long the duration is, either six months,
three years, or five years,
you can apply for the court to issue a permanent
restraining order that could last for the rest of your life.
– And that’s called a renewal of a restraining order,
correct? – Yes, it is.
So what is the impact of the restraining order?
– Well, the restraining order after hearing,
which is the more permanent one that David
was talking about, that can last up to five years,
has significant effects.
First of all, the restrained party is presumed
not to be able to have sole custody or joint legal
or physical custody of the minor children.
In order to get joint custody of a child,
you would have to overcome what’s called
a Family Code Section 3044 presumption,
which is a myriad of factors
that the restrained party would have to overcome.
You must relinquish all firearms,
and you cannot own or possess any firearms
for the duration that the restraining order is in place.
Your name, as the restrained party,
will show up in the CLET System.
The CLET System is the California
Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.
What that means is that if you have a restraining order,
you’re put in the CLET System.
If you’re stopped by a police officer,
your driver’s license is run,
it will show up that there’s automatically
a restraining order against you.
If you go to apply for a job,
if your credit is being run, it could show up
that you have a restraining order against you.
A restraining order is a matter of public record.
Anybody can go to the courthouse and see
that you have a restraining order against you.
It could also affect any kind
of security clearance or future employment.
In addition to all of these items,
are there any other effects that a restraining order
can have on a person, David?
– Well, first of all,
before we come back to the other effects,
I do wanna pause on the CLET System for a second,
and that is, the purpose of this system
is for your protection.
If you’ve sought a restraining order,
you will know you should have a copy with you
so that you can show it if it’s needed to be shown,
but also, it’s in this system,
and so if there’s an emergency and you call the police,
and you don’t have that restraining order,
they should be able to see
that there is a restraining order, what the duration is,
all in that system that’s available
to all law enforcement officers.
In addition, one of the impacts, there are many impacts,
that Michele has already gone through,
related to the issuance of this restraining order.
It can impact
the spousal support that the perpetrator gets,
it can impact their ability to get retirement benefits,
and the impacts of this change over time.
The legislature seems to be frequently
issuing new legislation that lists additional effects
of what happens if you are deemed to be
a perpetrator of domestic violence.
By being a perpetrator of domestic violence,
what I mean is that the courts concluded
that more likely than not,
the act of domestic violence occurred.
If the court decides that has happened, then you are found
to be the perpetrator of domestic violence,
and all these things are then triggered against you.
– So I hope this video has been helpful for you.
Remember, every person has the right
to be free from abuse.
If you are a victim of domestic violence,
please, we urge you, go to your local court,
your family law facilitator, your family justice center.
Get help, get the protection that you
and your children need, and most importantly,
if you are ever in danger, always call 9-1-1.