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I have a question about a Emergency Protective Order issued in San Francisco, CA about it's validity and being in public record.

San Francisco, CA |

I am trying to get information on a Emergency Protective Order for a relative . The order was never served and the only copy of the order was a photocopy of Application for the Emergency Protective Order ( LETS ) OPE - 001 which was sent by mail to the restrained party by the person to be protected . The details are as follows : Spelling of the restrained person's last name in items # 2 and # 9 is not correct as the first letter is wrong and identical in both instances . Item # 8 has the name of the judge and the time / date contacted but box number 8 is not checked . Item 13 is blank , isn't this a requirement of CA Family Code Section 6253 ( c ) Proof of Service items 14 - 17 , name / signature of server is all blank . Does it need to be served and then court filed before it will be part of the court files ?

somehow avvo messed up, it's CLETS and EPO-001. Basically, the EPO-001 seems more like a application and the items mentioned were all blank so wouldn't this mean under California Family Code 6200 seq, it's not even a valid order until all the correct boxes are checked, all blanks are filled in and it's served prior to it's expiration. What I want to know is with all those problems, would it still be in the courts files and available as public record?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This question s is not clear. It seems that the CLETS order was not served and on any case the s name is misspelled.

    The CELTS order is in the system---that's automatic. As far as effectiveness, I would go to the enforcing agency )police) and show them the errors and ask if they can enforce it.

    If not you may have to set a hearing just to get the order corrected. Someone else may know more.

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  2. I'm not really sure what you are asking. However, let me say this: If you want to make sure your order is enforceable, you want to make sure that everything in the order is correct, including the spelling of the defendant/respondent's name and physical description.

    It may be useful for you to seek a free legal consultation with a lawyer. It sounds like this is a very important issue and you want to get things right.


  3. Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs) are issued by the Police Department after speaking to a judge. They are ex parte orders (meaning they are issued without notice or hearing with the restrained person). The order is likely valid (without being able to see it, that can be challenging). There is a difference between "valid" and "enforceable" however. The implications of a Restraining Order, such as an EPO, is that if the restrained party violates the order (by contacting the protected party, coming near them, etc.), they can be arrested simply for engaging in such enjoined contact. The act itself is criminal, even though - under normal circumstances - it would not be. They can be arrested and charged for violating a restraining order.

    So, the question becomes, how does an order become "enforceable"? That is through proper service of the order upon the restrained party. This involves personal service (face-to-face delivery of the order to the restrained party). It sounds, however, as though the police are using an alternate take on service of process which may make the EPO unenforceable (in the sense referenced above). It wouldn't undermine the validity of the actual EPO.

    If you have further questions, I would recommend that you contact the District Attorney's Office in San Francisco. The Victims Services Division is designed to help victims through questions and issues such as these. See: http://www.sfdistrictattorney.org/index.aspx?page=4

    Best wishes.

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