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Are restraining orders granted if there is an immediate threat and fear that the person who files the order is claiming

Santa Barbara, CA |

I ask this because my ex just filed this claiming to be threatened by me without much evidence of anything. There is one thing which she submitted to the court and that's an email I sent to her approximately 5 or 6 months ago in which I wrote her that i'll cut of her tongue if she continues to defame me. Indeed, she has been going around telling lies about me to my friends and I was angry, so I made more of a metaphorical comment to her to get what I am trying to tell her.

She basically waits for several months to file this and I have received lots of emails from her all these months where she initiated contact, asked me to call her, she even said that she loves me by calling me sweet names. I have my phone bill to show that she sent me approximately 55 text messages after I sent her

that email, not counting several of her phone calls to my cellphone. So I don't understand the basis of filing this against me if restraining order has to do with immediate fear. Do you think these are good evidences to provide to refute her. In your professional opinions, can someone claim fear if they continue to be in a mutual contact with me like that by not showing any fear. She only provided that one email from my side to claim her fear. Thank you in advance for taking time to comment.

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Attorney answers 3


There is a relatively low bar to obtain a temporary restraining order; however, once a temporary order is granted, you will have a hearing on whether a full restraining order should be granted. At that hearing, both you and the person requesting the order will be permitted to present evidence and the judge will decide if there are grounds for granting the order.

A restraining order is a serious matter and impacts your civil rights (for example, you will be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms while under the order), so I would urge you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

This answer is provided for general informational purposes only and is not offered as and should not be treated as legal advice. This answer also does not create any attorney-client relationship. Every situation is different and you are urged to consult with an attorney.


You can probably look back and see that telling her you were going to cut out her tongue was probably not the best choice of words. That phrase--objectively could put someone in fear enough to be grounds for a domestic violence restraining order.

At a full hearing, you are going to have to "paint a picture" for the judge of someone who was not in fear. It may be helpful to consult with an attorney as my colleague pointed out your rights can be seriously effected by a DVPO, especially if you are a gun owner.

Cameron Norris, Esq. of the Law Office of Gary W. Norris can be reached at (805) 482-1170 or at This and other interactions through Avvo do not constitute an attorney-client relationship and are made for informational purposes only. No guarantees are made.


It is difficult to predict what any judge will rule, but generally judges are fairly consistent in a given county. Lawyers who regularly practice in the area should be able to tell you what the threshold of evidence is for her to get a restraining order. Judges who handle these matters become sophisticated at sifting through evidence to see what is a true threat. I would encourage you to at least get a consultation from an attorney who practices in this area, if not get represented. If you can't afford an attorney you should go to the Family Law Facilitator for assistance. They cannot give advice but can help you file your paperwork. If you file your own response be sure to state facts (not just arguments or opinion) to support your position. If the only thing against you is that comment months ago I would say you have a pretty good chance of convincing the judge not to issue the order. Be sure to be polite and respectful in court, and do not engage in any back and forth with your ex. If you bring the phone bill, etc, be sure there is a copy for you, the court, and your ex.

This answer is for general informational pusposes only. The posting of this answer does not create an attorney client relationship with the person who posted the question or any other person.

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