Domestic Violence (DV)
A good attorney can represent men and women in bringing and defending
against requests for restraining orders under the Prevention of Domestic
Violence Act. They will help you with not only the legal aspects of
such actions, but the practical aspects, such as child custody, visitation,
and temporary housing.
The laws surrounding domestic violence in family law were dramatically
strengthened after the O.J. Simpson case. The Domestic Violence Prevention
Act (DVPA) was hurriedly drafted and passed. The goal was to make it easier
for household members to receive quick, decisive restraining orders to avoid
further domestic violence.
Family Law Restraining Orders Are Far Reaching
DVPA orders can be obtained and affect anyone, or their close relative,
who recently lived in a household with someone else. For example, two women
share a house together for one month. The mother of one of the female housemates
could get a restraining order against the other woman in that household.
Family Law Restraining Orders Are Very Different from Criminal Law Restraining Orders
At best, a criminal law restraining order lasts as long as the criminal law case lasts and
the person is on probation. It provides for “stay away” orders, but unlike family law
restraining orders, it doesn't deal with things like child custody, payment of debts,
use of vehicles or support, as does a family law restraining order.
You Don't Have to be "Hit" to Obtain a Family Law Restraining Order.
This holds true in both criminal and family law cases, but more so in requests
for a family law restraining order. You only have to have a reasonable
fear of violence to obtain a restraining order, and that such violence
could occur again without help from the court. In San Luis Obispo County
this has been liberally construed.
For example there was one case where a man yelled at his wife, very close
to her face, then left the room, slamming the door on the way out. The
house was being renovated and the door was not secured to the door jam.
The door fell of its hinges and had to be re-hung. A DVPA restraining
order against the husband was immediately issued as a result.
Family Law Restraining Orders Can Be Issued Without Any Notice
Usually the court requires that proposed restrained person receive notice
that a hearing is going to take place. But that notice will likely be
less than two days, often less than 24 hours notice. But sometimes, depending
on the facts alleged in the request, the court will issue a restraining
order without any notice.
This means that one morning you wake up and a police officer is at your
door handing you a family law restraining order. You will find that you:
- are being kicked out of your home.
- have one hour given to you by the police to collect your personal
toiletries and clothes, but nothing else, such as your computer or tax
- are not allowed near any the family cars and have to drive the truck
you use to conduct your business.
- must contact a court approved supervisor and pay $75.00 an hour to
see your kids under their supervision at their facility.
- find the good news is that $75.00 an hour won't financially break
you because you're only allowed one hour a week to see your children.
- get to pay the mortgage and the car payments of the cars that you
can't drive while this whole thing is sorted out at a hearing in a couple
Unlike Criminal Law, Family Law Restraining Orders Can Be Renewed Without Further Incident
Family Law Restraining Orders are usually in effect for three years.
However, they can be initially issued for five years. After that time they
can be renewed, without any further incident occurring, or issued as a
permanent order, in other words, forever.
Family Law Restraining Orders are serious business. While most of the
orders are temporary, the child custody orders can be very difficult to
modify if you don't have evidence. That goes for either side. The requests
for these orders require serious and immediate attention.
The moment you suspect that you need one or fear that one may be brought
against you, you need to contact a competant attorney for a free initial consultation.
They can help you secure the evidence you need to fight for your position.
She is experienced in fighting vigorously for or against such orders.
Domestic Violence (DV) - Frequently Asked Questions