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Will a domestic violence restraining order become a permanent part of my record even after it expires?

Van Nuys, CA |

1. I was arrested when my ex girlfriend got mad at me and lied to the police to get me in trouble.
2. She didn't press charges or show up in court, nor did she ask for a restraining order.
3. The court (I'm told) automatically issued a temporary restraining order and my lawyer said it was supposed to expire since my ex did not follow through on making it permanent.
4. I didn't know I had a permanent R.O. until I was pulled over a couple years after the fact, and they said there was one that came up on their computer.
5. I called my attorney, he just says there isn't one; yet I asked another law enforcement agency to check for me and it's still there and will expire in another month.
6. My concern is that even after it expires, there will be a permanent record showing the restraining order.

What can I do to ensure that the DVRO will not become a permanent mark on my record? Do I have to get a lawyer? Do I even need to bother doing anything or when it expires, will it just disappear for good? Should I get a petition of factual innocence; and is that the same as a petition to have my records sealed and destroyed? Is there a time limit for these petitions? (it's been almost three years now)...Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Attorney answers 1


You already have a lawyer; I would suggest having him call courthouses in different counties (or checking their web sites) to see if she ever obtained a permanent restraining order in an improper venue or even in your own courthouse but without notice to you. Also have your attorney go in and check the Court's file for your case HIMSELF. If he won't go, go in YOURSELF and look for it.

If you can get the law enforcement agency to give you information about the information they have on file, you may find it's a person with your name, but doesn't fit your description or lived someplace you never lived. If that is the case, then you will need your attorney to find a way to ensure that the police don't keep confusing you with this other guy.

Once the RO expires, I am under the impression the order is no longer enforceable, but remains in the database as a reference point so police will know when they may be dealing with a potentially dangerous person.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.



Thank you, Ms. Hartley, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my problem. I am in contact with my attorney, but if he can't help me and I can't solve it on my own I will give you a call! :-)

Carla Leslie Hartley

Carla Leslie Hartley


I don't practice in the Van Nuys area, but if you call my staff can refer you to a few good attorneys who do.