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Options for Parents and Spouses in a Temporary Restraining Order in San Diego Family Law Court: COVID 19: Legal Resources

If you are a parent or spouse or ex spouse in San Diego who is a victim of domestic violence and need protection, there are many resources for you to use to obtain accurate and reliable information. For those who were terminated, furloughed or laid off during this medical pandemic, the economic pressures as well as family pressures during the “stay at home orders” can prove toxic. There is a legal strategy for you to protect yourself by filing for a temporary restraining order in San Diego Family Law Court. This can be complicated and legal advice is suggested for an analysis of your individual case to determine if the law, facts and evidence support a TRO request and granting of order for protection. There are many resources available to you and hiring an attorney is one of the best options. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC, has experienced attorneys in TRO filings and can assist with the preparation of the pleadings, filing the pleadings in the appropriate San Diego Family Law Court and legal service as well as representation at the trial itself. Feel free to call 800-769-4748 to schedule a confidential consultation up to 30 minutes by telephone or zoom.

Some decide to handle their own case and this is their legal right. There is no mandatory requirement for appointment of an attorney in a divorce, legal separation or paternity case and this includes domestic violence cases for temporary restraining order requests. This is not advisable for several reasons. First, most victims of DV are not legal experts. Second, many domestic violence victims are overwhelmed with what has happened to them. There are options other than representing yourself and some are listed below. Given COVID 19, hours and services change and make sure to research and update if the information below has changed since the preparation of this article.

First, there is a San Diego County Agency which assists victims file a TRO: San Diego Domestic Violence Clinic. There is no charge and this is offered to all in San Diego County. While they used to have in person legal services, this has changed due to COVID 19 and they now offer remotely. They have a website and you can view if you have internet access. If internet access is not available to you, there are phone numbers to call. For the matters which will be heard in the Chula Vista, Vista and the main family law court as well as El Cajon, their phone number is 619-235-5656 ext. 118. The current hours of operation are on Monday’s and Tuesday’s with hours from 8:30am-5:00pm. They are also open on Wednesday from 8:30am-12:00pm. They advise, if you hare having a domestic violence emergency, to call 911. As this is a very fluid situation, please check their website for any changes to hours of operation or services and the phone numbers as well.

Second, there is the San Diego County Family Law Facilitator. This is also a San Diego County agency and there is no charge. You can ask for forms assistance by appointment by calling 619-844-2869. They also have an on line reservation workshop which you can access from the San Diego Superior Court website. They also have a procedure to schedule a video chat. Again, make sure to check for most current information.

Third, the Legal Aid Society of San Diego: Family Law Division also assists San Diego County residents. Their phone number is 877-534-2524. There is no cost for these legal services.

Fourth, there is a division in the San Diego County Bar Association which has attorneys on their panel which accept family law cases with reduced hourly rates and retainers. Their current hourly rate is $75 and their retainer is $1,000. This is much less than most experienced family law attorneys where hourly rates can run over $400 per hour and retainers can run in the thousands [or tens of thousands] of dollars. The phone number to reach the Modest Means Panel is 619-231-8585.

Fifth, many decide to hire their own highly qualified and experienced attorney. There are California Bar Certified Referral Services and each will offer a free 30 minute virtual consultation with an experienced attorney. Also, they may have limited availability during this crisis so am listing three. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC are on all of these panels.

  • Attorney Search Network: 800-215-1190
  • San Diego County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: 619-231-8585
  • San Diego North County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: 760-758-4755

Doppelt and Forney, APLC understands that this is a most difficult time and are here to help. While no attorney can make a guarantee of the outcome of your case, we are committed to legally analyzing your individual case for strategies to both protect your legal rights as well as obtaining your legal goals. During this COVID 19 crisis, there are experienced attorneys to help you. Not all attorneys and legal services are the same and it is advised to obtain more than one consultation before hiring any attorney. Also, value is very important and their office will not charge you, while you are a current client, for parking, mileage, postage, copying or fax.

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