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Do I have a right to testify in a DVTRO Hearing? I am the restrained party and have criminal charges pending.: I am the restrained party. I have a DVTRO against me and I also have a criminal hearing pending for the same events. I asked for a continuance on the DVTRO until after the criminal case concluded, but the Judge wouldn't continue it since the protected party refused to waive time. I know I have the 5th amendment privilege. Do I also have a right to testify in my DVTRO hearing? Is there a way to get another continuance?

Asked over 1 year ago in Domestic Violence

Timothy’s answer: If there are criminal charges pending, you have an absolute right to invoke the privilege. The protected party cannot abridge your Constitutional rights, and the time waiver is yours, not the protected party's, meaning you have the right to have a hearing on the permanent order within 21-25 days of the TRO being issued. There is no prejudice to the protected party if your invocation delays the proceeding, as they remain protected under the reissued TRO. It sounds like you need a criminal and a family law attorney, or one that understands both aspects of a DV case.

Answered over 1 year ago.


Is it necessary to divorce in two countries (if you married the same person in both countries)? (Mexico & USA): This is a simple divorce WITHOUT assets or children. We married legally in Mexico first for papers, and then again legally in the US for family reasons. I would file for divorce in California and he now lives in Mexico City. Can we simply divorce in the US only?

Asked over 1 year ago in Divorce

Timothy’s answer: You can, if you have resided in CA for at least 6 months. The more difficult issue for you may be personal service of the summons.

Answered over 1 year ago.


Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining order.: my estranged wife filed for an ex parte TRO which was partially granted according to the San Mateo Open Access system. No police charges are filed against me, its just her basically wanting no communication with me.

I have not yet been served, what happens if she shows up at court hearing with out me being served? Will a PRO be granted in my absence? Do I even need to show up?

Asked over 1 year ago in Domestic Violence

Timothy’s answer: It is technically only effectual to enjoin you if it is personally served. However, now that you have knowledge of it, you do not want to violate any of the provisions by making any contact. If she cannot personally serve you prior to the hearing, it will be reissued for another 21-25 days so that she may attempt service again. She may serve you 5 calendar days before the hearing. Be wary of strangers at your door, or a calling card from the Sheriff. You are entitled to a first continuance as a matter of right if you do get served. The biggest concern with you not showing at the first hearing is the possibility of her fabricating service, which is the only way to that a permanent DVRO would issue against you.

Answered over 1 year ago.