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Obtain and Defend Against Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Domestic violence takes multiple forms and a Restraining Order has serious legal, financial, and emotional ramifications. A Restraining Order can last from three (3) weeks to five (5) years with the possibility of being renewed permanently based on the circumstances of the abuse. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is also entered into a statewide system called the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System ("CLETS"). One of the consequences of having a CLETS Restraining Order issued against you or the other party include being prohibited from being in possession of a firearm. This can have a significant impact on you if you or the other party's profession requires the use of a firearm, such as a security guard or police officer. Moreover, a CLETS restraining order will show up on background checks and may affect you or the other party's current or prospective employment opportunities.

If you are attempting to obtain a Restraining Order against the abusive party, the process begins by going into Court on an emergency basis and obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO"). Oftentimes, the party seeking to obtain a TRO does not even have to give notice to the other party that he or she will be seeking a TRO. When you go to Court to obtain a TRO, you will have to show in your paperwork that there has been abuse by the other party and that you are afraid of the other party. TROs are usually granted or denied solely on the paperwork provided by the party seeking the TRO. You will most likely not have to go on the record in front of a Judge or Commissioner that day. However, on some occasions and in some Courts, the Judge or Commissioner may wish to ask you follow up questions regarding your paperwork. You will receive a decision by a Judge or Commissioner that same day as to whether the TRO is granted or denied. Regardless of whether the TRO is granted or denied, the Court will then set the matter for hearing on whether a permanent Restraining Order ("RO") will issue no later than twenty one (21) days or twenty five (25) days if good cause is shown, after the TRO is granted or denied at which point the TRO will either be dissolved or it will be extended into a long term RO which can last up to five (5) years.

Because most parties seeking a TRO do not give notice, it is almost impossible to effectively defend against a TRO, especially considering the fact that TROs are almost never heard on the record and are usually granted or denied on the paperwork alone.

After a TRO is either granted or denied and a hearing is set no later than twenty one (21) days or twenty five (25) days after if good cause is shown, any and all paperwork related to the TRO must be personally served to the other party at least five (5) Court days prior to the hearing for the permanent RO. The TRO is a Court order and if a TRO has been issued against you, you must follow the terms of the TRO exactly, or you may be arrested and/or you may give the protected party a stronger case to obtain a permanent RO against you at the date of the hearing.

While the TRO is granted or denied based on the paperwork alone, the permanent RO hearing is the exact opposite. The permanent RO hearing is a trial and a full evidentiary hearing. Both parties will have the opportunity to present testimony, third party witnesses, and any other evidence that is pertinent to whether a permanent RO should or should not be granted. After all of the evidence is presented, the Judge or Commissioner will make a decision as to whether a permanent RO will issue. If the Judge determines a permanent RO shall issue, then the Judge will determine the duration of the RO. As previously mentioned, a permanent RO may issue up to five (5) years. Even when a RO is set to expire, the protected party may request the Court to renew the RO if that party continues to be reasonably afraid of the restrained party. Again, a CLETS RO being issued against a party has huge legal, financial, and emotional ramifications. For example, a CLETS RO issued against a parent in a Child Custody battle will have a huge uphill battle to climb as California Law presumes that a parent who has committed Domestic Violence should not have joint legal or joint physical custody.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to a RO is that only the restrained party must abide by the terms of the RO. This is false. Even the protected person must abide by the terms of the RO or risks possibly being sanctioned and/or having to pay the other side's attorney fees and/or costs if a Judge or Commissioner makes the determination that you obtained a TRO or permanent RO in bad faith. Moreover, if a Judge determines that a party requesting a RO has acted in bad faith, that party will surely lose credibility with the Judge for any and all future hearings. It is imperative not only for the restrained person to follow the terms of the RO exactly, but it is also imperative for the protected person to be consistent with being afraid of Domestic Violence from the restrained party as indicated in their initial paperwork.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are not to be taken lightly and should only be considered if the circumstances absolutely warrant taking that route.

At Tinero, Aharonov and Associates, we represent parties on both sides of restraining orders -- individuals who need orders to protect them from another person as well as individuals who are falsely accused of domestic violence.  Contact us and we can discuss your options and a strategy to either obtain the restraining order you need or defend you against false accusations.

Timing is of the essence.  Whether you are a victim of domestic violence or have been served with a restraining order, you need to act as soon as possible to protect your rights.

Domestic Violence, Child Custody and Visitation

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Encino, CA 91436

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