Restraining Orders Overview in Los Angeles
In California, a restraining order is a court order issued by a judicial officer (judge, magistrate or referee) that is obtained by a purported victim (the “petitioner”), or by a police officer or sheriff’s deputy on behalf of him or her, against an individual (the “respondent”) to prohibit – and ostensibly to prevent – that individual from engaging in one or more or even all of the following activities in regard to this victim:
- physical or psychological/emotional abuse;
- Stalking (California Penal Code section 646.9);
- making contact;
- Making a Criminal Threat (California Penal Code section 422).
Terms of Restraining/Protective Orders
The precise acts prohibited and proscribed by the order will depend on the specifics of each case; however, it will always include a term that prevents you from contacting the purported victim. And a no-contact prohibition will always – either explicitly or implicitly – include the following forms of communication:
- face-to-face (person-to-person) contact;
- telephone contact;
- email messages;
- social media postings;
- letters; and
- contact through third parties acting on your behalf.
Please note that once such an order has been issued by a court, the petitioner or purported victim is thereafter known as the “protected person” and you will be known as the “restrained person”.
Notwithstanding, most orders will also require you to surrender any and all firearms you own, control or possess.
Finally, if you are actually restrained – i.e., prohibited from doing something or going some place – then the specific terms of the order (sometimes also referred to as a “protection order” or “stay-away order”) may require you to:
- keep a certain distance away from the purported victim;
- move out of your own house;
- avoid contact with your own child;
- alternatively, have only minimal or supervised contact with your child.
Operative Laws and Codes
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