Temporary Restraining Orders
(in Domestic Violence cases)
A domestic violence arrest in California triggers the issuance of an EPO (Emergency Protective Order) issued by law enforcement upon arrest with an expiry of 7 days). The EPO is extended by the court once the defendant is formally charged and arraigned and usually lasts through the final disposition of the case at which time a stay-away order may be issued upon conviction for the duration of probation.
The victim of domestic violence may also seek a TRO (Temporary Retraining Order) in a separate but parallel proceeding in family court. While a TRO proceeding is civil in nature, the TRO is a CLETS order that will reflect on an individual's criminal history if granted by the family court. The TRO proceeding begins with the filing of a petition and involves a bench hearing (by the judge). If upon hearing the petition, the TRO is granted, it may last up to 5 years.
If you are accused of domestic violence and have been served with a petition for TRO, it is critical that you seek counsel early to gather evidence and prepare your response towards a successful hearing. In the event you have also been charged with domestic violence in a parallel criminal case, it is advisable to seek counsel who is experienced in defending you in both matters simultaneously so that they can properly navigate these separate but related cases towards the best outcome.
Temporary Restraining Orders (Civil Harassment)
Unlike a domestic violence TRO which requires cohabitation or a relationship between the parties, a civil harassment TRO addresses harassing, annoying or threatening conduct with no requirement of a relationship between the parties.
Common examples of Civil Harassment TRO matters include harassment or threats by a neighbor, co-worker, or business associate.
As a TRO is a quasi-criminal order under California law, it will reflect on the respondent's criminal history. It is therefore important to fight allegations of civil harassment vehemently to avoid the issuance of a TRO upon hearing.