• Restraining Order

File a Restraining Order in California


When a relationship (romantic or otherwise) begins to show signs of abuse or danger, panic can lead to indecision and confusion. It is important to stay informed of the existing forms of legal relief available in these situations. According to a report from New York based advocacy organization Safe Horizon, 1 in 4 women will experience an instance of domestic violence at some point during their life. Further, a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, shows that domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness in the United States. You may need to File a restraining order in California to give you the peace of mind you deserve.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a legally enforceable order from the court that prohibits an individual (the restrained person) from engaging in abusive activities or conduct against another person (the protected person). “Abuse” as applied to restraining orders can mean a number of things. Abuse can be:

      • Excessive and inappropriate contact (e.g. phone calls, emails, texts, social media interaction) or stalking
      • Physical abuse, whether sexual or otherwise
      • Verbal or physical threats of violence
      • Harassment
      • Destruction of property
      • Other inappropriate conduct

There are three main prohibitions that a restraining order can place on a party: restraints on personal conduct, stay-away orders, and residence exclusion orders.

A personal conduct order prevents the restrained party from engaging in activities directed at a protected party or person. It prohibits the restrained party from engaging in some sort of act or conduct that would otherwise be allowed. The court will prohibit the restrained party from carrying on with the abusive activity.

A stay-away order is exactly what it sounds like; an order that the restrained party must stay away from the protected party for a set period of time, and at a set distance. Sometimes abuse is not so much about physical interaction, but the perceived or actual threat of physical or emotional violence or abuse. These orders take into consideration the role that proximity can play in an abusive relationship. Schools, places of employment, residences, vehicles, and other places that are relevant to the protected person’s daily life are all areas that the restrained party may be prohibited from visiting.

Finally, residence exclusion orders force the restrained party to vacate the house, apartment, or dwelling of the protected party. This type of relief is reserved for situations involving either domestic violence or elder abuse. If a party is served with a residence exclusion order, they are allowed to take only personal belongings (like clothing and other necessities) and are not allowed to return until after the court hearing.

Under what circumstances may a person file a Restraining Order in California?

There are four circumstances a person may file a restraining order in California, each based on the relationship you have with your abuser. The different relationships that are determined by the following elements:

Domestic Violence: To file a domestic violence based restraining order, the applicant must have been abused by someone with whom he or she has a close relationship. In determining whether the parties are closely related, the court will consider factors such as whether the parties are married or are registered domestic partners, whether they are divorced or dating (past or present), whether the parties are cohabiting, or if they are related by blood or law.

Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse: For an applicant to file for an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order, as a preliminary matter, the applicant must show one of two things. First, the applicant must be 65 years old or older. If that is not the case, the applicant can be between the ages of 18 and 64, and suffer from a qualified mental or physical disability that prevents them from being able to protect themselves from his abuser.

In addition, the applicant must show that he or she is the victim of either financial or physical abuse, neglect or abandonment, or is being deprived of the services or treatment needed to avoid physical, emotional, or mental suffering.

Civil Harassment: Civil harassment is similar to domestic violence, but it does not require a showing of a close relationship. These restraining orders allow you to file against your employer, strangers (think of someone you have never met that is stalking or harassing you in person or on the internet for example), more distant family members, friends, neighbors, or acquaintances. Other than this distinction, a civil harassment based order is similar to a domestic violence based order.

Workplace Violence: A workplace violence order is a restraining order reserved for employers to file because of an employee that is being harassed, stalked, or abused. The purpose is to protect the employee, the employer, and anyone else that may be present at the workplace against a real threat of violence.

An important element in filing this sort of order is that the person filing must be an employer; not an employee. An employee would seek the aforementioned civil, elder/dependent adult, or domestic violence restraining orders.

How can A People’s Choice help you file a Restraining Order in California?

The process of filing a restraining order can be simplified by having the team at A People’s Choice prepare the necessary forms for you. As one of California’s premier legal document assistance services, the staff at A People’s Choice have decades of experience in providing cost-effective assistance to our clients hoping to avoid the hassle of dealing with an attorney. If you are considering filing a restraining order, or need help with any other legal documents, let A People’s Choice take the additional stress of preparing the paperwork out of the equation for you. Reach out to us today and we can start your paperwork right away.

Get help with your California legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!

By |2018-01-18T15:47:45-07:00February 28th, 2015|Family Law, Legal Document Assistants|8 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.


  1. Curtis Barry Harris February 25, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I have people living now in my home never wanted them to stay but 5 months later. How to remove them fast. Had sheriff called to my house to many times sheriff wants them gone but can’t I’m till they have the notice to vacate
    .please help ? Curtis Harris

    • Sandy McCarthy February 25, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      I would recommend you contact an unlawful detainer attorney.

  2. angel December 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    I am trying to file a restraining order for harassment. I dont know what to do.

    • Sandy McCarthy December 6, 2018 at 7:55 am

      Give our office a call at 800-747-2780 for help with the required documentation for a restraining order.

  3. Shakinah August 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Hi there. Looking for information about my current situation. I was solicited by a member of the fitness facility I used to work at, to move into her house for FREE rent and room/board for 6 months while I finish school and save for my apartment. She said she was lonely and her kids didn’t come over anymore, and convinced me to move all of my things starting last week of July. Once I moved in, she started sending me lies and harrasing messages and making me feel unwanted. I later found out her from her teen kids that she’s supposed to be on meds and is “crazy”. She decided by August 10th that she wanted to kick me out because her kids wanted to be around me more than her. She is forcing me out after I just moved in, just started school FT and a new job, and causing me so much stress. I have been sleeping on people’s couches and she won’t even face me, only message me saying i need to move out. I now had to sign a lease for an expensive apartment to pay by myself as of sept. 10th. I was rushed into finding something and anything available soon. She said she would pay for the truck and movers but can’t be trusted or reliable. What do i do?

    • Sandy McCarthy August 20, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Talk to an attorney to get legal advice.

  4. Eboni November 25, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Hi how can you evict someone if you have everything in text message and they moved their boyfriend in which you were ok with until you found out he is a criminal possibly on probation you are the tenant and you got a roommate on a month to month they are now trying to threat you and have not paid rent this month . Your landlord does not know you rented out a room and he really does not care as long as he gets his rent

    • Sandy McCarthy November 26, 2017 at 2:55 am

      You may want to speak with an attorney regarding your situation and what you can do.

Comments are closed.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!