In California, a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a permanent restraining order (PRO) are two legal tools designed to protect individuals who are experiencing abuse, harassment, or violence.
A TRO is a court order that is issued by a judge to protect a person from immediate harm. It is typically issued for a short period of time, usually between 20 and 25 days, and can be extended by the court if necessary. A TRO can be obtained by a victim of abuse or harassment by filing a petition with the court and demonstrating that they have been or are at risk of being victimized. The TRO can require the abuser to stay away from the victim and to stop contacting them in any way.
A PRO, on the other hand, is a court order that can be issued for a longer period of time, usually up to three years, and can be renewed by the court if necessary. A PRO can be issued after a court hearing, where the victim must demonstrate that they have been abused or harassed by the person named in the order. A PRO can include many of the same provisions as a TRO, such as requiring the abuser to stay away from the victim and to stop contacting them, but can also include other provisions, such as requiring the abuser to attend counseling or to relinquish any firearms they may own.
In summary, a TRO is a temporary measure that is issued to protect a person from immediate harm, while a PRO is a longer-term solution that can be issued after a court hearing, where the victim must demonstrate that they have been victimized.
A person can obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) by following these steps:
File a petition: The first step to obtaining a TRO is to file a petition with the court. The petition should include a detailed description of the abuse or harassment that the victim has experienced or is at risk of experiencing. The petition should also identify the abuser by name and provide their contact information if known.
Attend a hearing: After the petition is filed, the court will schedule a hearing, which is usually held within 24 hours of filing the petition. The victim must attend the hearing and provide testimony about the abuse or harassment they have experienced.
Provide evidence: To obtain a TRO, the victim must provide evidence of abuse or harassment, such as threatening messages or emails, witness statements, or medical records.
Show a threat of harm: To obtain a TRO, the victim must show that they are in immediate danger of harm if the TRO is not granted. The victim must demonstrate that they have a reasonable fear of harm and that the TRO is necessary to protect them.
If the court finds that the victim has met these requirements, the judge will issue a TRO, which will be in effect for a period of time, typically between 20 and 25 days. The TRO will order the abuser to stay away from the victim and to stop all contact with them. If the abuser violates the TRO, they can be arrested and charged with a crime.
The laws that govern obtaining a temporary restraining order (TRO) in California are primarily found in the California Code of Civil Procedure, specifically in sections 527.6 and 527.8.
Section 527.6 sets out the requirements for obtaining a TRO in cases of harassment or stalking. It defines harassment as a pattern of conduct that is intended to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, and stalking as conduct that is intended to place a person in fear for their safety or the safety of their family.
Section 527.8 sets out the requirements for obtaining a TRO in cases of domestic violence. It defines domestic violence as abuse or threats of abuse between people who are or have been in a close relationship, such as spouses, partners, or family members.
In addition to these laws, there are other California state laws and federal laws that can also be used to obtain a TRO, such as the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).
It is important to note that obtaining a TRO can be a complex legal process, and it is highly recommended that individuals seeking a TRO consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive the best possible legal representation.