DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FAQS

Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order Form (DV-100) in the jurisdiction of California.

The most comprehensive question to ask is:



What are the signs that someone is in an abusive relationship?

A: You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your spouse/partner:

  • Calls you names, insults you, or criticizes you constantly.
  • Does not trust you and is jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to keep you isolated, you from family or friends.
  • Monitors and tries to control where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with.
  • Controls the household finances or withholds money from you
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family, or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your spouse/partner has ever:

  • Damaged property, like thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, and other things.
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked, or choked you.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling the police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

California domestic violence restraining orders come in three forms. First, an emergency protective order may be issued upon a request by a police officer. The judge must find that the person experiencing domestic violence faces an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, or that there is an immediate and present danger of child abuse or child abduction. This order will last for no longer than seven days or five business days, whichever is shorter. Second, a temporary restraining order lasts until the hearing on the final order, which usually happens no more than three weeks later.

A temporary (ex parte) restraining order will be issued if a person experiencing domestic violence needs protection from an immediate threat and cannot wait for a court hearing. Finally, a final restraining order may be issued after a full hearing. This order will last for three years if the judge does not provide an end date, but the judge can issue an order for up to five years. A person who experienced domestic violence then can ask for an extension of the order (permanently or for another five-year term) within three months before it expires, without needing to produce evidence of continuing abuse.

  • Who is eligible for protection: In general, a person experiencing domestic abuse by a spouse or an ex-spouse, the other parent of their child, a person who is dating or previously dated them (frequent and intimate associations involving an expectation of affection or sexual involvement), a cohabitant (someone who regularly lives or lived in their home), or a person related to them by blood, marriage, or adoption (including parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and in-laws)
  • Where to file: In general, the county where the respondent lives, the county where the domestic abuse occurred, or any court where there is a pre-existing civil case between the person experiencing domestic abuse and the respondent
  • Definition of domestic violence: California Family Code Section 6203California Family Code Section 6211California Family Code Section 6320(a)

Do I require a lawyer for my restraining order case?

A: No. But it is a good idea, especially if you have children. Click for help finding a lawyer.

Ask the court clerk about legal services and domestic violence help centers in your county.

You may also be able to get a court order that the other person pay for your lawyer’s fees.

Can I use the restraining order to get divorced?

A: No. These forms will not end your marriage or your registered domestic partnership. You must file other forms to end your marriage or domestic partnership.

A restraining order was filed against me, but I require one for my protection. What do I do?

A: If you require protection from someone who filed a restraining order against you, you can ask for a restraining order against them, even if they asked for one against you first. But you cannot ask for your order in your response to their restraining order. You have to fill out your own application.

A: It depends on where you are at in the process. If you have a temporary restraining order and a court hearing coming up, you cannot “drop” the case. But you could just not show up for the court hearing. If you do not go, the restraining order will be dropped.

If you already have a “permanent” restraining order, and you want to dismiss (drop) the case or change the restraining order, you must file papers to go to court and ask the judge.

IMPORTANT!  Before you try to drop or undo a restraining order, talk to a domestic violence counselor or a lawyer. Depending on the reasons why you want to drop your restraining order, there may be other options that can address your concerns while leaving the protection of the restraining order in place.

For example, if the reason you want to drop it is that you feel like the order gets in the way of you co-parenting with your children’s other parent. According to many attorneys, there may be changes you can make to the order, such as especially to the custody and visitation portion. In order to allow more flexibility when it comes to your children, while continuing the protection that the restraining order can give you.

If you are feeling pressure by the restrained person to drop the restraining order, it is very important you think very seriously about whether dropping the restraining order will be best for you. If you end up having to refile, you will have to start the process all over again. And there may be other ways for you to deal with these pressures. Talk to a domestic violence counselor or a lawyer for help in deciding what to do.

Call Toll Free: 800-694-0241 Free Consultation

Citations & References

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Laws and Forms: 50-State Survey. (2021, January 29). Retrieved April 13, 2023, from Justia

Domestic Violence FAQs – dv_abuse_selfhelp. (2023). Retrieved April 13, 2023, from Ca.gov

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *