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What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A domestic violence restraining order is a Court order issued to prevent the recurrence of acts of abuse by a batterer. Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, abuse is defined as any of the following:

  • Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury
  • Sexual assault
  • Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another
  • Engaging in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting the other by mail or otherwise, disturbing the peace of the other party.

The batterer must be:

  • A spouse
  • An ex-spouse
  • A boyfriend or girlfriend
  • An ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend
  • A person the victim is dating or has dated
  • An immediate family member (mother, father, in-laws, siblings, adult children, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter)
  • A person the victim has children together
A victim of abuse that does not have the necessary relationship to the batterer may file a civil harassment restraining order.The restraining order can include the following:
  • Restraints on personal conduct by the batterer
  • Orders for the batterer to stay-away from the victim's home/work and/or children's school
  • Orders for the batterer to be removed from the residence
  • Child custody and visitation and support orders
  • Other miscellaneous orders

What Is Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse?
Abuse of an elder or a dependent adult is abuse of:
  • Someone 65 years old or older; or
  • A dependent adult, who is someone between 18 and 64 that has certain mental or physical disabilities that keep him or her from being able to do normal activities or protect himself or herself.
The law says elder or dependent adult abuse is:
  • Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction (taking the person out of the state against his or her will), or other behavior that causes physical harm, pain, or mental suffering; OR
  • Deprivation by a caregiver of things or services that the elder or dependent adult needs to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
Read about the law in Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.

What Is Civil Harassment?
In general, civil harassment is abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment by someone you have not dated and do NOT have a close relationship with, like a neighbor, a roommate, or a friend (that you have never dated). It is also civil harassment if the abuse is from a family member that is not included in the list under domestic violence. So, for example, if the abuse is from an uncle or aunt, a niece or nephew, or a cousin, it is considered civil harassment and NOT domestic violence.

What Is a Workplace Violence Restraining Order?

Under California law, courts can make orders to protect an employee from suffering unlawful violence or credible threats of violence at the workplace.

A workplace violence restraining order must be requested by an employer on behalf of an employee who needs protection. The court order can last up to 3 years. The order can also protect certain family or household members of the employee and other employees at the employee’s workplace or at other workplaces of the employer. These orders will be enforced by law enforcement agencies.

Copyright 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles