What is a Gun Violence Restraining Order?
The Gun Violence Restraining Order prohibits a person subject to this restraining order from having in his or her custody or control, own or possess, or receive any firearms or ammunition while the order is in effect. The petitioner must convince the Judge that the person to be restrained poses a significant danger in the near future of:
- causing personal injury to himself/herself, or another person by having:
- in his/her custody, or control, owning, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.
The petitioner also must convince the Judge the restraining order is needed to prevent personal injury to the person to be restrained or to another person because less restrictive alternatives either have been tried and haven’t worked for the current circumstances.
Who Can File a Gun Violence Restraining Order?
Only an immediate family member or law enforcement officer can make the request to the Court for the issuance of a Gun Violence Restraining Order. Immediate family members include (1) your spouse or domestic partner; (2) your parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren and their spouses, including any stepparent or stepgrandparent; (3) your spouse’s parents, children (your stepchildren, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren; and (4) any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the last six months, regularly resided in the household.
Can I have more than one restraining order at one time?
It is not uncommon for a protected person to have more than one order. For example, a person may ask for a restraining order in Family Law or Civil even when there is a Criminal Restraining Order. A Criminal Protective Order can expire for reasons beyond your control. An order issued in Family Law or Civil will not expire early unless it is ordered to expire by the judge after a hearing. A Criminal Protective Order, however, always has priority over any other type of restraining order. 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 Civil Order allows contact and the Criminal Order states "no contact" the parties are not allowed to have contact.
What forms do I need?
To apply for a Gun Violence Restraining Order you will need the following forms to get started:
- Civil Case Cover Sheet (CM-010)
- Declaration Re: Notice Temporary Restraining Order (L-0889)
- Notice of the Court Hearing (GV-109)
- Temporary Firearms Restraining Order (GV-110)
- Petition for Firearms Restraining Order (GV-100)
- Confidential CLETS Information (CLETS-001)
- Firearms Restraining Order After Hearing (GV-130)
These forms are also available free of charge at any of the Self-Help Center locations listed here
After I have completed the forms, what do I do?
Make two copies of the completed forms. Staple the original (and copies), then take the completed and two copies of the Petition for Firearms Restraining Order (GV-100), the Confidential CLETS Information (CLETS-001) (only one copy,) the Notice of the Court Hearing (GV-109), the Temporary Firearms Restraining Order (GV-110), the Declaration Re: Notice (L-0889) , and the Civil Case Cover Sheet (CM-010) to the Civil Division at Central Justice Center for filing.
You may also access and download for free the Self-Help Center’s packet for Gun Violence Restraining Order.
Is there a filing fee?
If the petitioner alleges no violence in the petition, there will be a filing fee (please see the fee schedule for current fees) or you may qualify for a fee waiver.
If the petitioner alleges violence in the petition, there will be no filing fee, however if your request is denied by the Judge, you will be expected to pay the filing fee before your court date.
Where do I file my forms?
Present completed forms and copies to the Civil Division Clerk’s Office, First Floor in the Central Justice Center no later than 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.
Temporary Restraining Order:
The judge generally rules on your request for a Temporary Restraining Order on the same day or within 24 hours you make the request. The Judge will be deciding based upon on what is stated in the documents you filed. Usually, you will not have the opportunity to speak to the judge until the full hearing date. KEEP A CERTIFIED COPY OF THIS ORDER WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES in case you need to show it to a law enforcement officer.
A court hearing will be set in about 3 weeks so the judge can decide if the orders will continue for up to 1 year. If you fail to appear, the judge may dismiss your case. The Temporary Restraining Order will also expire and you will have no further protection.
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 hearing date.
A child waiting room called "Children’s Chambers" is available for eligible children. You can read more about their services and guidelines.
How do I get the other party served?
You can choose one of three ways to serve the other party: You can hire the Sheriff’s Department to serve the other party.
There is a fee unless you have a granted fee waiver for the Sheriff’s Department to serve the other party. Please see the Orange County Sheriff Service Fees for the current fee schedule. If you are utilizing the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for service, you must also complete the Information Sheet for Temporary Restraining Order for the Sheriff’s Department. Please see the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for service hours and the listing of areas serviced by each Justice Center/Superior Court jurisdiction for appropriate drop off locations.
Any person who is at least 18 years old and is not a party to the action can serve the other party on your behalf. Make sure the server fills out the Proof of Personal Service (GV-200).
Hire a process server. You can find one online by searching in a web browser for "process server." Make sure you get the completed Proof of Service form from the process server.
A Proof of Service must be completed and signed by the person who serves the other party. You must file the Proof of Service in and bring a copy to your court hearing.
What if I can't get the restraining order served in time for the hearing?
There are two ways you can continue your court date on your Gun Violence Prevention case.
If you were not able to serve the defendant timely before your scheduled hearing, you will need to request the Court to reissue the temporary restraining order. This request is made by completing the Request to Continue Court Hearing for Firearms Restraining Order (GV-115) and the Order for Continuance and Notice of New Hearing (GV-116). These forms also are available at any of the Self-Help Center locations during normal court hours. The forms must be completed and filed along with a copy of your prior Temporary Firearms Restraining Order (GV-110), a minimum of two days before the date of your scheduled hearing.
You also may orally request a continuance in Court during your hearing. If your request for continuance is granted, the Judge will sign an Order for Continuance and Notice of New Hearing (GV-116) form and set a new hearing date. Both methods extend your Temporary Restraining Order so you will be protected until the new hearing date.
How do I respond to a Gun Violence Restraining Order Request?
After being served, read the papers very carefully. The Notice of Court Hearing tells you when to appear in court. There may also be a Temporary Firearms Restraining Order prohibiting you from having any firearms and ammunition, and requiring you to surrender, sell, or store any firearms and ammunition that you currently own or possess. You must obey the order until the hearing.
In order to respond to the order that the Petitioner is asking for, you may fill out the Response to Petition for Firearms Restraining Order (GV-120) , before your hearing date and file it with the court. You will have to pay a filing fee to file the Response. If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, you may apply for a fee waiver. After completing the forms, have a server (someone other than yourself over the age of 18) mail a copy of the completed Response to the Petitioner. The person who mails a copy of the Response must fill out a Proof of Service by Mail (GV-250) and mail it along with the Response. The original Response and Proof of Service by Mail must be filed with the court prior to the hearing.
How can I get more information?
- Court staff in the Civil Clerk’s Office and Self-Help Centers can assist you.
- California Courts Self-Help website on Gun Violence
- Self-Help Resources and Attorney Referral
- Can a Firearms Restraining Order Help Me? (GV-100-INFO)
- How Can I Respond to a Request to a Petition for a Firearms Restraining Orders? (GV-120-INFO)