What can we do (we, the other members of the board) to get a restraining order against these four people? They menace others with ethnic slurs regularly, they've physically hurt other people, the police have said there is nothing they can do (because both sides have witnesses, except one side is lying). We have a petition signed by 80 members of our community demanding their resignation... what do we do? Can we get restraining orders on them? The police have said we have to go to court to get the right documentation. What documents do we need to get to the restraining orders?
This definitely sounds like an HOA situation, and these entities are known for generating some heat in their board and association meetings. Mr. Doland has offered some good advice. It is also frequent that Board Members are not fully familiar with the by-laws of their own group, and/or the CC&Rs by which the group is established and operates. Often these are very complicated legal documents and you should obtain competent counsel from an attorney practicing in the homeowners' association arena.
If you wish to go without counsel, you should examine the by laws for the procedures to remove or recall board members, and/or for scheduling a new election, if possible. You should be prepared for all kinds of nonsense and mudslinging in any campaign to remove or recall the 'offending' board members, and if any physical violence appears imminent, you may consider hiring a security guard, or going the route for a civil restraining order. I do not agree that a criminal attorney is your best bet for that work, as these are granted in civil and domestic cases, and have very specific procedures and forms.
The foregoing is not offered as legal advice, but is a general analysis of the situation posed by your question. I am not your attorney until I have been retained through a written retainer agreement which is signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California and make no representation as to the laws of other states.
From a personal safety standpoint, you should definitely get a restraining order against these individuals. Consult with a criminal defense attorney who can prepare the paperwork and go to the hearing on the restraining order.
From a business/corporate standpoint, there should be some procedure outlined in your corporate by-laws for removing board members. Consult with a corporate attorney who can review your corporate documents and advise you properly.
You may need to get a receiver or a provisional director appointed in this matter. It is unclear what type of entity you have (perhaps a HOA) but by the time a group of 80 has agreed about a change, consultation with a lawyer to represent that group seems advisable.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.