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What is An Emergency Protective Order and How to Obtain One

Posted by Brian Michaels | Apr 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) in California is a type of court order that provides immediate protection to a victim of domestic violence, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse.

An EPO is issued by a judge at the request of a law enforcement officer, rather than the victim, and is only issued when the victim is unable to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) on their own. This could be because the victim is in immediate danger or unable to file the TRO petition themselves.

An EPO is typically issued for a period of up to seven days and provides several types of protection for the victim, including:

  1. Order the abuser to stay away from the victim, their home, and their workplace.

  2. Prohibit the abuser from contacting the victim in any way.

  3. Grant the victim exclusive use of the home, even if the abuser owns or rents the property.

  4. Provide the victim with temporary custody of any children they share with the abuser.

  5. Order the abuser to relinquish any firearms they may have in their possession.

An EPO is designed to provide immediate protection for victims of abuse, while they obtain a more long-term solution, such as a TRO or a permanent restraining order (PRO).

In California, only law enforcement officers can request an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) on behalf of a victim. If you are a victim of domestic violence, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse, you should contact your local law enforcement agency immediately and inform them of your situation.

To obtain an EPO, a law enforcement officer must:

  1. Respond to a call: The officer must respond to a call of domestic violence, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse, and determine that the victim is in immediate danger.

  2. Contact a judge: The officer must contact a judge or magistrate and request an EPO. The judge will assess the situation and decide whether to issue the EPO.

  3. Serve the EPO: If the judge issues the EPO, the officer will serve it on the abuser. The EPO will order the abuser to stay away from the victim and provide other protections for the victim.

It's important to note that an EPO is a temporary solution that provides immediate protection for the victim. If you are a victim of abuse and wish to obtain more long-term protection, you may consider seeking a permanent restraining order (PRO) or a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the court. An attorney or a local domestic violence advocacy group can provide guidance on how to obtain a PRO or TRO.

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Brian Michaels

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