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During a permanent restraining order hearing for domestic violence based on threats over e-mails, what will the judge look into

San Francisco, CA |

when determining if a permanent order should be granted or not. The couple have not had physical contact for over a year; only electronically since their separation after a divorce petition. The petitioner claims that the respondent is threatening to kill her, but she does not even provide any evidence to back up her claims; only verbal claims of a threat to kill. In this situation, where there is no documented proof of such a statement made, can a judge take her word or in such situation there has to be valid and solid proof that the respondent has made such a statement to her. Furthermore, the petitioner is bringing forth e-mails going back to a year by trying to provide a few as evidence. One of those emails was also written by a 3rd party yet she is using that against the respondent as

a way to throw things at him to make him look like a threat. So my question is what usually judges look into when determining if a restraining order should be granted on permanent basis or not.

Attorney Answers 3


The court will look at the emails to, among other things, make a determination if there is imminent harm or threat to the person requesting the restraining orders. For example, if the email says, 'I am going to kill you next week--you better watch yourself!" versus, "I am sorry I keep emailing you, but I love you and this is the only way I can get a hold of you." In other words, the emails are not the issue, the contents is, as well as the number of emails sent. Also, the court, as stated earlier, will look to prior history, past acts and any other relevant information, facts and evidence.

Strongly strongly suggest you speak to an an attorney. Many family law attorneys provide free consultations.

Good luck!

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I appreciate your response dear Linda. I just marked your answer as the best, and I also sent you a personal message/email with a question. I would appreciate if you could take a look whenever you get a chance. You will understand the situation better. Have a great weekend.


These types of cases are highly fact specific. The judge will look to any evidence of past, present or potential future violence, stalking, harassment, etc. and make a determination based on the evidence presented. I suggest both parties hire attorneys to present their side of the case. Good luck.

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I would agree with my colleagues and that the Judge will weigh all of the evidence presented, including perceived credibility of the parties. It would be advisable to obtain counsel.

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