When someone asks for a civil harassment restraining order in court, they have to file court forms telling the judge what orders they want and why. What happens after that varies a little from court to court, but the general steps in the court case are:
1. The person wanting protection files court forms asking for the civil harassment restraining order.
2. The judge will decide whether or not to make the order by the next business day. Sometimes the judge decides sooner. Then, the clerk will set a date for a hearing.
3. If the judge grants (gives) the orders requested, he or she will first make “temporary” orders that only last until your court date. The court date will be on the paperwork. These temporary orders can include issues like:
- Ordering the restrained person to have no contact (including no phone calls or e-mails) with the protected person (and other protected people); or
- Ordering the restrained person to stay away from the protected person (and other protected people).
4. The person asking for protection will have to “serve” the other person with a copy of all the restraining order papers before the court date. This means that someone 18 or older (NOT involved in the case) must hand-deliver a copy of all the papers to the restrained person.
5. Both sides go to the court hearing.
- If the protected person does not go to the hearing, the temporary restraining order will usually end that day and there will no longer be a restraining order.
- If the restrained person does not go to the hearing, he or she will have no input in the case and his or her side of the story will not be taken into account.
6. At the hearing, the judge will decide to continue or cancel the temporary restraining order. If the judge decides to extend the temporary order, the “permanent” order may last for up to 3 years.
You do not need an attorney to ask for (or respond to) a restraining order. BUT it is a good idea to have an attorney.
File Restraining Order, Civil Harassment, Tarzana, CA