Can I find a lawyer for my civil restraining order case at the last minute without notifying the other side about it...

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I am thinking about hiring a lawyer for my civil restraining order (domes. viol based on threat) as I was falsely accused. I have already responded to my soon to be ex, but without an attorney. Can I still retain one at the very last minute even when I have filed what is needed with the court and have also responded my ex. Basically, am I obligated to notify in advance of the attorney or can I find one anytime before the hearing and go to the hearing with one. Also, if I want to transfer my attorney fees on my ex because of his false accusations for wasting my time on nonsense (assuming that I win), can the attorney request the judge for the transfer of my fees in court during the hearing or do I need to file FL-150 in advance.

Additional information

I do not want to end up going to the hearing with an attorney just to find out that I had to notify the court through my response DV120 & FL-150 Income declaration form in advance. My time is also limited, so that is why I might find someone affordable the last minute as I am looking right now. Please advise as it's an emergency. Thanks.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Sarah Jeannette Arnott


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your attorney could make his/her first appearance at the hearing, although the person requesting the restraining order *could* request a continuance to obtain their own attorney as well. While the person who is requesting the restraining order should be ready to proceed at the 1st hearing, especially if you have shown up, some courts may be willing to allow them a short continuance to get an attorney to level the proverbial playing field.

    With respects to your request for attorney's fees, the court *may* award attorney's fees to the prevailing party under California Family Code section 6344. This is discretionary with the Court and is oftentimes determined by looking at the parties' respective incomes and ability to pay. To this end, you should file and serve a FL-150 in advance of the hearing with any and all necessary attachments.

    DISCLAIMER The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should... more
  2. Cathleen Elisabeth Norton


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you have every right to have an attorney represent you even if you hire him/her at the last minute. I am including a link below which may prove helpful. Good luck.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the... more
  3. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The answer is yes you can hire a lawyer and you can seek attorneys fees. You will have to prevail and still the judge may or may not award attorneys fees.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced... more
  4. Vincent Walter Davis

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Yes!

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

31,715 answers this week

3,452 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

31,715 answers this week

3,452 attorneys answering