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Disagreements between romantic partners and relatives are often intense and, unfortunately, sometimes escalate from contentious arguments into acts that constitute abuse or threatening behavior. Such acts often constitute domestic violence and may be grounds for seeking a domestic violence restraining order. If you have questions about what measures you can take to protect yourself from further abuse or if you were unjustly accused of engaging in violent behavior against a family member or romantic partner, it is in your best interest to retain a lawyer with experience navigating sensitive family law matters to help you protect your interests. The skilled San Diego family law attorneys of Doppelt and Forney APLC are mindful of the delicate nature of domestic violence actions and petitions for domestic violence restraining orders, and we will strive to help you seek a fair result in an efficient manner so that you may move forward with your life.Domestic Violence as Defined by California Law
Under California law, domestic violence is the term used to describe abuse or threats of abuse, where the person being abused and the abuser either have or had an intimate relationship. This includes not only married people but also people in a domestic partnership, people that have a child together, and people that live or lived together. Domestic violence also includes abuse or threats of abuse made by one person against another if they are related by blood or marriage.
Abuse includes recklessly or intentionally harming someone physically or trying to inflict such harm. It also includes making threats that reasonably cause the victim to fear that either they or someone else will suffer serious injuries. Sexual assault, stalking, harassment, destroying personal property, and disturbing someone’s peace constitute acts of domestic violence as well. The disruption of someone’s peace can include the exercise of coercive control, which is behavior that interferes with a person’s liberty and free will. Examples of coercive control include isolating a person from their support network, denying them their basic needs, and controlling their finances, movement, daily activities, and communication with others.
While such behavior frequently causes bruises and other physical manifestations of injuries, they do not have to in order to be considered domestic violence. Domestic violence frequently causes psychological and emotional trauma as well. Victims of domestic violence will often seek protection from their abusers by asking the Courts to issue domestic violence restraining orders.Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California
Under California law, the Courts can issue domestic violence restraining orders, which are also sometimes referred to as protective orders, to protect people from being physically or sexually abused, harassed, threatened, or stalked.
The Courts will only issue emergency ex-parte domestic violence restraining orders, which are orders issued without notice or hearings, in matters in which the petitioner demonstrates there is an imminent threat of harm. In other words, the Courts will only issue emergency ex-parte domestic violence restraining orders when a law enforcement officer offers reasonable grounds to believe that the alleged victim is in immediate danger of domestic violence or that a child is in immediate danger of being abused by a member of their household or family. The Courts may also grant emergency ex-parte orders if a child is in immediate danger of being kidnapped by a relative or parent. Emergency domestic violence restraining orders can bar a person from engaging in specified behavior, including acts of abuse, or prohibit them from entering a dwelling and may grant one party temporary control of a child. Emergency domestic violence restraining orders are temporary, expiring within five to seven days of when they are issued.
Courts may also issue non-emergency ex-parte domestic violence restraining orders in some cases. Specifically, a Court can issue such an order to restrain a person from threatening, attacking, sexually assaulting, or battering someone else. The Courts can also enter ex-parte domestic violence restraining orders preventing people from entering houses shared with their victims, but only where the parties being restrained have threatened or assaulted either the victim or a minor child, and the order is required to prevent the harm the victim or child would otherwise suffer. The Courts can restrain parties from engaging in other behaviors via ex-parte orders as well.
If an emergency ex-parte domestic violence restraining order is not appropriate, a party can seek a domestic violence restraining order following notice to the restrained party and a hearing. Generally, domestic violence restraining orders the Courts issue after considering the evidence presented during a hearing Court prevent the restricted party from engaging in the same behaviors prohibited by an emergency ex-parte order. The Court can also order the restrained party to pay restitution for specific expenses, and in cases in which it is warranted, direct them to pay child support and spousal support. A domestic violence restraining order issued after a hearing may also include provisions for child custody and visitation.Meet With a Skillful San Diego Family Law Attorney
Domestic violence can cause significant physical and emotional trauma, but domestic violence restraining orders can help victims of domestic violence prevent further abuse. If you need want to discuss whether you have grounds for seeking a domestic violence restraining order or were served with legal documents instituting an action for a domestic violence restraining order against you, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss your cases as soon as possible. The skillful San Diego family law attorneys of Doppelt and Forney APLC are proficient at handling domestic violence restraining order cases, and if you engage our services, we will craft compelling arguments in your favor to help you seek a fair outcome. We frequently represent people in family law cases in San Diego and other cities in San Diego County. You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 800-769-4748 to set up a conference.