What do restraining orders do for Californians?
In California, like elsewhere, domestic violence is a crime. It is one family law concern that threatens the safety of families – especially spouses or cohabitating partners – in every community. Domestic abuse ranges from emotional abuse to stalking to physical assault. Fortunately, family law provisions under California’s statutes provide an important instrument for protecting victims by the issuance of restraining orders.
Usually called a protective order, a restraining order is issued by a court with the intention of protecting an individual from being sexually or physically abused by a specific individual. It can safeguard someone from threats, stalking and any form of harassment. How much restraining orders can actually do depends on the protected person’s living situation and personal circumstances.
Personal-conduct orders are issued to stop specific acts against someone named in the restraining order. It prohibits another named individual from attacking, battering or striking the protected person as well as contacting, calling, or communicating to that person by any medium. A personal-conduct order also restrains the subject of the order from destroying personal property or disturbing the peace of those protected by the order.
Stay-away orders keep the subject from visiting places frequented by the protected person. If a stay-away order was issued, the subject cannot go to the victim’s workplace, home, children’s school, vehicle or other significant places. This protective order also requires that the subject maintain a certain distance between him- or herself and the victim, usually 50 or 100 yards.
Residence exclusion orders order a person to move out from the place where the protected person is living. This order is usually issued in elder abuse and domestic violence cases. Violation of the restraining order may result in severe consequences such as jail time and harsh fines.
Source: Courts.ca.gov, “Restraining Orders,” Accessed on Oct. 31, 2014