When you need someone to stay away from you, you do can apply to a court for a restraining order. Whether you are applying for a restraining order under family, civil, probate, or criminal law, the process for dealing with the different kinds of restraining orders is largely the same, though the application forms might differ. There are three phases of restraining orders.

Emergency Protective Order (EPO)

Law enforcement agencies can obtain an emergency restraining order (EPO) if the officer has reason to believe that you are in immediate danger of violence. Judges are required to be available 24 hours a day to issue EPOs. Such orders can be obtained in cases of domestic violence, elder abuse and civil harassment, although if your situation is a civil harassment case an EPO be issued only in cases of “stalking.” If your abuser lives in your home, the judge can order him or her to leave the house for the period of the restraining order

An EPO takes effect immediately and is enforceable for one week. The purpose of the EPO is to protect the abused person while they apply to the court for a temporary restraining order.

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

A temporary restraining order (TRO) can often be applied for without advance notice to the person to be restrained and lasts until a court hearing can be held (generally, in about three weeks). It can be temporarily extended under some circumstances.

A TRO is issued when the judge believes you are in immediate danger and need protection before the court hears your case to determine whether to issue a “permanent” restraining order.

Permanent Restraining Order

If, after a court hearing, the judge concludes that the person asking for protection is in danger, a permanent restraining order can be issued. The length of time a permanent restraining order is in effect will vary depending on the type of restraining order and the discretion of the judge, usually for a period of three to five years.

Restraining Orders

Assistance and representation by an attorney is not required, but may be helpful. Preliminary advice and assistance in filling out forms and presenting them to the court is often available through the courts and from other organizations. More information, along with the various court forms, regarding restraining orders can be found online at https://www.courts.ca.gov/, the website for the California Courts.

Will often describes himself as the legal equivalent of the family doctor. Holsinger Law Office offers the following Family Law services:

  • Dissolution
  • Legal Separation & Annulment.
  • Child Custody, Visitation & Support.
  • Adoption, Paternity &
  • Parental Rights.