What You Need to Know About Obtaining Protective Orders in California
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in an Emergency Order issued by a judge for a limited period of time. A TRO will expire unless there is a court hearing on the mater. A Permanent Protective Order (PPO) may then be issued by a judge after the hearing for a period of 1-5 years.
Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)A TRO is a Temporary Restraining Order, A TRO s a Court Order legally restraining a person who has made a claim of fear, patterned harassment, threat of physical harm, or allegations of physical harm against another from having any contact with the person(s) they threatened. The Court Order provides the Court with the discretion and authority to sanction the restrained person anytime the Order is violated.
A TRO is a Civil Order, and any individual may obtain a TRO if they can provide the Court with reasonable proof of the claimed harm, or threat or harm. Reasonable proof can be established through written declarations of those who have witnessed, or experienced harassment and/or domestic violence issues. Because reasonable proof is such a low standard, little more than allegations are required to initially obtain a TRO.
A Temporary Restraining Order is generally valid for a very short period of time. The Order will terminates on a set date, and will not be reissued unless there is a formal hearing to determine if a Permanent Restraining Order is warranted. The level of proof necessary for a court to grant a Permanent Restraining Order, proof by a Preponderance of the Evidence. The Preponderance of the Evidence standard is met when a person can show that there is a clearly established need for the Order. This means that when the evidence offered in support of the Order is presented to the Court, there is at least a 51% chance that the Order of Protection is more necessary.
Permanent Protective Orders (PPO)To obtain a Permanent Protective Order (PPO), the individual making the request will also have to demonstrate to the Court that they have current or prior relationship to the individual. The Court will not grant a Permanent Order against a stranger. A relationship may include: spouses, co-habitants, significant others, or couples who have children in common.
A person seeking a PPO must also demonstrate that there is a need for a PPO. The need must be subjectively reasonable, meaning the person has an actual justified reason for fearing their partner, or former partner. If the bases for requesting a PPO is unreasonable, or the Court determines that there is no actual established fear under the circumstances of that request-the Court will deny a PPO.
The level of proof required to obtain an Order is lower for domestic violence cases. This means that the Court will require less documentation or supporting evidence when it decides if an Order is reasonable. The reason this standard of proof is lower in domestic violence cases. is because there is a very real risk that disputes in close relationships may escalate more quickly, and have a greater potential for becoming violent.
It is advisable for anyone seeking a TRO/PPO, or defending against a TRO/PPO, to consult with a Licensed Attorney who has experience handling Protective Orders. .