Restraining Orders - General
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If you need protection right now
Call "911", or
A local law enforcement agency, or
A local domestic violence shelter 1-714-992-1931, or
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233; TDD 1-800-787-3224
- If the abuse is non-life threatening and taking place in a private home, you can report abuse to the Orange County Adult Protective Services Agency by calling their 24 hour hotline at 1-800- 451-5155.
- If the abuse is taking place in a licensed care facility (i.e. nursing home or board and care facility) contact the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Service at 714-479-0107 or 800-300-6222. Or, you may contact the statewide ombudsman at 800-231-4024; TDD/TTY 916-928-2511. For more information on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman: https://aging.ca.gov/Programs_and_Services/Long-Term_Care_Ombudsman/
Computer Safety: Websites you visit may be viewed by someone else later
Websites you visit may be viewed by someone else later. Always clear your browsing history after searching the web. Consider using a public or friend’s computer if you are concerned about someone viewing your browsing history.
You do not have to tell anyone in the court about your immigration status.
You have the right to ask for a restraining order for your protection without being afraid of deportation.
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 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, roommate, friend or family member other than those listed in the “Domestic Violence Restraining Order” section.
- 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.
- Gun Violence Restraining Order: A restraining order that prohibits someone from having any guns or ammunition.
Regardless of whether or not a temporary restraining order is granted, please make sure the other party is properly served with your paperwork and plan to attend the future hearing date scheduled by the judge. The future hearing date is where the judge decides on the permanent restraining order.
Multiple Restraining Orders
It is not uncommon to have both a Criminal Protective Order and either a Civil Harassment Restraining Order; or a Domestic Violence Restraining Order; or an Elder Abuse Order; when a criminal prosecution is involved. 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:
Lamoreaux Justice Center: For Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, all paperwork must be filed in the Family Law Clerk’s Office in Room 706 on the 7th floor no later than 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Requests for an emergency same day appearance on any general Family Law matter, other than for Domestic Violence, must be filed in the Family Law Clerk’s Office in Room 706 on the 7th floor no later that 10 am, Monday through Friday. The Domestic Violence Assistance Center located in Room 705 on the 7th floor is available for assistance in completing forms prior to filing them in the Family Law Clerk’s Office.
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 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
7th Floor. Room C-705
-Advocates are available via phone: Monday to Friday 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm
-Filing Options: In-Person or Electronic
All cities and unincorporated areas in Orange County
Central Justice Center
-Civil Division: 1st Floor
All cities and unincorporated areas in Orange County
COURTHOUSE SCHEDULES FOR RESTRAINING ORDERS:
- Lamoreaux Justice Center: For Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, all paperwork must be filed in the Family Law Clerk’s Office in Room 706 on the 7th floor no later than 3 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Central Justice Center: Ex Parte Civil Harassment Temporary Restraining/Protective Orders are heard on Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Litigants should be in the Civil Division Clerk's Office by 3:00 p.m. Final check-in to complete and file documents is 3:30 p.m. in the Clerk's Office. The petitions will be ruled on the same day, unless it is after 3:30 p.m., in which case they will be ruled on the next court day. All forms must be completely and accurately filled out before getting in line to file.
- Central Justice Center: Hearings for Elder Abuse Protective Orders are held on Monday – Friday at 9:00 a.m. Before your case can be heard by a judge, you must give the other person at least four hours’ notice of your intent to request a protective order against them. If you do not give notice, you are required to explain your reasons to the judge in your written declaration, and the judge will determine if you will need to be scheduled for another date to allow for proper notice to the other side. You will get your order on the same day that you come to court if your papers are completed correctly and submitted to the Probate Clerk’s Office before 4:00 p.m.
All Justice Centers (including Lamoreaux Justice Center):
Monday – Thursday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Friday – 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Domestic Violence Assistance Center (located at the Lamoreaux Justice Center, 7th floor):
Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
- Visit Self-Help Services for more information on current hours of operation and services.
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.
For more information on how to request a free interpreter, please click here for the Court’s Language Access page.
If you chose to hire your own interpreter, 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.