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What could happen during the hearing IF as a respondent to a restraining order, you show up but have not responded yet

San Francisco, CA |

to your ex wife who filed the domestic violence restraining order and to the court with the DB - 120 form . He is coming for sure , but I have not received anything from him and he has not yet responded to the court I think as he has not filed it with the court yet . 1 ) Is he obligated to respond to me and to the court before the hearing . 2 ) Can he just show up without a response to anyone . 3 ) What could happen ( if anything ) if he has not responded but present at the hearing . 4 ) Can the judge postpone the hearing if he has not filed anything on his behalf . Please advise on what could happen , if anything , and if it is OK . . . thanks in advance . . . appreciate it .

This is just a civil domestic violence restraining order based on e-mail communication....nothing physical has occurred as we have not seen each other for over a year.

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Attorney answers 2


There is no cardinal black and white rule about this. Any number of things could occur at the time of the hearing: 1) the Respondent could show up and ask for a continuance to find an attorney--the court could deny or grant the request; 2) the court could let the Respondent speak and make a defense at the time of the hearing; 3) the court could refuse to let him file anything because of the delay in filing a response. In a nutshell--it ultimately depends on two things: 1) what the Respondent will say and/or do at the time of the hearing; and 2) what the judge is in the mood to do. Again, there is no hard-fast rule on this.

If you can't afford to have an attorney represent you, keep in mind that there are attorneys in your area (Bay Area) who provide free consultations as well as legal coaching services.

Good luck!

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I have handled restraining order hearings in San Francisco on several occasions. I do not believe you are required to file a formal response to the charges. However, I file a response on the judicial council form denying all of the allegations that should be denied and explaining any that need to be explained. You need to hire a lawyer to put a case together for you.

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