A Domestic Violence Restraining Order can be filed against a person that has abused you and with whom you have had a close relationship (married or registered domestic partners, divorced, separated, dating or used to date, live together or used to live together), or to whom you are related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law). Living together implies more than just being “roommates.”
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order can order the restrained person to:
Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you
Not have a gun
Move out of your house
Follow child custody and visitation orders
Pay child support
Pay spousal or partner support
Stay away from the pet(s)
In Civil Court, as opposed to Family Court, special procedures are available to provide quick relief to persons who have suffered harassment at the hands of others if great or irreparable injury is threatened. A request for a Civil Restraining Order can be filed against individuals with whom you have not had a close relationship or are not related to.
The California Code of Civil Procedure defines harassment as either:
- Unlawful violence (assault, battery or stalking other than in self-defense or defense of others)
- Credible threats of violence (a statement or course of conduct with the intent to cause another fear for their safety of self and family member)
- A knowing, willful act directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys or harasses that person, serves no legitimate purpose and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and in fact, causes the victim to suffer such distress.
The victim must establish by “clear and convincing evidence” that one of the three definitions of harassment listed above have occurred. To put a quantitative number to this definition the court must believe with approximately 80% certainty that the harassment took place.
Elder Abuse is a serious problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of elderly people across the country. There are six different types of elder abuse by another party:
- Physical abuse – use of physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain or impairment
- Sexual abuse – nonconsensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person
- Emotional abuse – infliction of anguish, pain or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts
- Financial/material exploitation – illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets
- Neglect – refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person’s obligations or duties to an elderly person
- Abandonment – desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has physical custody of the elder or by a person who has assumed responsibility for providing care to the elder.
A Restraining Order can protect an elderly or dependent person from physical, emotional or financial abuse. It can also order someone not to harass them or destroy their property and can prevent someone from staying in their home unless that person is an owner of the property where the elderly or dependent person lives.