This page contains information concerning:
Protective Orders at a Glance
This section tells you about ways to use the courts to protect yourself and your family from abuse and harassment. It also gives you information on resources to make sure you and your family stay safe. Additionally, it gives you links to help you identify if you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship and get help.
THIS SECTION EXPLAINS THE:
- Different types of restraining orders,
- Eligibility requirements,
- Steps to take to get a restraining order, and
- How to contest a request for a restraining order.
THE TYPES OF RESTRAINING ORDERS ARE:
- Emergency Protective Order: Protects victims of abuse, serious harassment, or stalking. An emergency protective order is available 24 hours a day from the police.
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order: Protects individuals from family members, spouse or former spouse, parties that have a child together, or parties that have a current or past dating relationship.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order: Protects individuals from others than those listed in a Domestic Violence Protective Order.
- Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order: Protects elders and dependent adults from physical and financial abuse, neglect, isolation, abduction, harm, or deprivation by a caregiver.
- Workplace Violence Prevention Restraining Order: Protects employees from workplace violence.
- Criminal Restraining Order: Protects victims and witnesses from the defendant in a criminal case.
- Juvenile Restraining Order: A Juvenile Restraining Order is a court order to protect a person suffering unlawful violence or credible threats of violence from a juvenile.
- Private Postsecondary School Violence Prevention Restraining Order: Protects students from violence in a private postsecondary school.
- Transitional House Misconduct Restraining Order: Protects participants in transitional housing program or program employees or neighbors of the program site.
Multiple Restraining Orders
It is not uncommon to have more than one type of Protective Order. A party may seek a restraining order in family law or civil even when there is a Criminal Protective Order. Tell the judge and the District Attorney if you have another restraining order. The Criminal Protective Order takes precedence over other conflicting orders. That means if the criminal order is different from another restraining order, it will supersede any other orders as the primary order that must be obeyed. FOR EXAMPLE: If the family law order allows contact and the criminal order states "no contact", then the parties are not allowed to have contact.
Assistance by Phone, in Person or Online
If you are in danger or need help right now, call 911.
SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY SELF-HELP CENTERS:
Self-Help Center staff is available Monday-Friday to provide procedural assistance and answer your questions at the court locations below.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00am-4:00pm; Friday 8:00am-3:00pm
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OFFICE:
Staff is available to assist you complete the forms for a Domestic Violence or Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse Protective Orders at the Lamoreaux Justice Center (6th Floor, Room C-611), 341 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92863.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm (closed 12:00pm-12:30pm)
Telephone: (714) 935-7956
CIVIL AND FAMILY LAW CLERK’S OFFICE:
See below for locations, hours, and phone numbers.
SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY WEBSITE:
The court provides a variety of online services such as finding resources and information, accessing and filling out your forms, and viewing your case.
Court Locations, Hours, and Locations to Request Restraining Orders
TYPES OF RESTRAINING ORDERS ACCEPTED FOR FILING:
(File your case at the Justice Center where the person you want restrained lives or harassment / abuse took place)
Lamoreaux Justice Center
-Family Law Division: 7th Floor
All cities and unincorporated areas in Orange County
Central Justice Center
-Civil Division: 1st Floor
Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Tustin, Villa Park, and Westminster
Harbor Justice Center
-Civil Division: 1st Floor
Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente San Juan Capistrano
North Justice Center
-Civil Division: Upper Level, North Wing
Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Placentia, Stanton, and Yorba Linda
All Justice Centers (except Lamoreaux Justice Center):
Lamoreaux Justice Center:
Superior Court Self-Help Centers:
Monday-Thursday: 8:00am-4:00pm; Fridays: 8:00am-3:00pm
Domestic Violence Assistance Center (located at the Lamoreaux Justice Center):
8:00am-4:00pm (closed from 12:00pm-12:30pm)
- Final check-in at the Clerk’s Office is 4:00pm. All parties should appear in the Clerk’s Office, Domestic Violence Assistance Center, or Self-Help Center no later than 3:30pm to complete the paperwork.
- The Self-Help Center closes at 3:00pm on Fridays. If the Self-Help Center is closed, the Clerk’s Office or Domestic Violence Assistance Center can assist you.
WHAT IF I HAVE A DISABILITY AND NEED SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS?
If you have a disability and need help, fill out a Request for Accommodations By Persons With Disabilities (MC-410) and file it with the court as soon as possible, but at least five days before the trial date.
WHAT IF I NEED AN INTERPRETER?
SELECTING AN INTERPRETER
By law, in California all official court business must be conducted in English. When one of the parties or witnesses in a case does not speak English well, that person will need a court interpreter (who speaks English and the non-English speaker’s first language) so he or she can understand what is going on and talk to the judge.
In some cases (like criminal cases) the interpreter is paid for by the court and may be a court employee. However, in civil cases, with the exception of domestic violence proceedings and hearings for support involving the Department of Child Support Services in Family Law cases, the person needing the interpreter must get and pay for his or her own interpreter or get a friend to help interpret. It is your responsibility to get your own interpreter. You can ask a friend, relative, or someone else to interpret for you when you go to court. Do not ask a child to interpret for you.
Keep in mind that just because someone you know speaks both English and your first language does not mean he or she would be a good interpreter. A court interpreter needs to be familiar with legal terms and concepts in both English and your first language, and most people are not. That is why it is very important you have an interpreter with experience. If you decide to use a noncertified or nonregistered interpreter, such as a friend or relative, have the person read the instructions and duties for interpreting in the information sheet called Foreign Language Interpreter’s Duties-Civil and Small Claims (INT-200) .
To make sure you get an experienced court interpreter, you should consider a professional interpreter who has passed the required examinations and has officially registered and been approved as a court interpreter by the Judicial Council of California.
There are 2 types of officially-approved court interpreters in California:
- Certified court interpreters: Only interpreters who pass the Court Interpreter Certification Examination and register with the Judicial Council are referred to as “certified" in these 13 languages:
American Sign Language, Arabic, Cantonese, Eastern Armenian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Western Armenian.
- Registered court interpreters: Interpreters of spoken languages for which there is no state certifying examination are called “registered interpreters of non-designated languages.” They must pass an English proficiency examination, and register with the state’s Judicial Council.
TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENTS
The California Courts website has a list of certified and registered interpreters for oral interpretation. Certified and registered interpreters may also translate documents, however, the California Courts does not test or certify an interpreter's written translation skills. The American Translators Association can also interpret documents.
TIPS FOR USING AN INTERPRETER
Using a court interpreter can be awkward because you have to go through another person to get your information or talk to the judge. Follow these tips when using an interpreter in a courtroom:
- Listen carefully to the interpreter.
- Wait for the interpreter to finish talking before you answer.
- Speak slowly so the interpreter can hear everything you say.
Do not interrupt, even if someone in court says something bad about you. You will get a chance to speak.
INTERPRETERS FOR THE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING
Note: There are also American Sign Language interpreters and real time captioning for parties and witnesses that are deaf or hard-of-hearing (or have another disability). The court will provide a sign language interpreter or court reporter for you or other accommodation you may need. You can read more about this in the For Persons With Disabilities Requesting Accommodations section of this website to learn about the court's policy for accommodating persons with disabilities. Make your request as soon as possible, but at least 5 days prior to the hearing.
CAN I BRING CHILDREN TO COURT?
Children may be brought to the court and may stay in "Children’s Chambers" while their caregivers are conducting business with the court. Children’s Chambers is a safe drop-in center for children that lets children be children instead of spending long sessions listening to adult interactions that could be painful or frightening.
You can read more about which courts offer a Children’s Chambers and the guidelines.