Friday, November 24, 2017
Restraining Orders
Photos by Adam Stewart
Van Damme State Park, on the Mendocino Coast - Photo courtesy of Kim Weston

A restraining order (also called a “protective order”) is a court order that can protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed.

There are different types of civil (non-criminal) restraining orders. Each type applies to a different situation so read this summary to find out which type you want to ask for.

ALL forms are available at no charge from the Clerk's Office in Ukiah or Fort Bragg and from the Self-Help Legal Access (SHLA) Center on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The main types of restraining orders are:

  • Domestic violence
  • Civil Harassment
  • Elder or dependent adult abuse
  • Workplace Violence

 

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

You can ask for a domestic violence restraining order if:

  • Someone has abused you, and
  • You and that person are:
    • married or registered domestic partners,
    • diforced or separated,
    • dating or used to date,
    • have a child together,
    • live together or used to lile together,
    • closely related (like that person is your parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).

Find more information about domestic violence.

 

Civil Harassment Restraining Order

You can ask for a civil harassment restraining order if you are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone you are not as close to as is required under domestic violence cases, like a roommate, a neighbor, or more distant family members like cousins, aunts or uncles, or nieces or nephews.

Find more information about Civil Harassment.

 

Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order

You can ask for a elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order if you are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone you are not as close to as is required under domestic violence cases, like a roommate, a neighbor, or more distant family members like cousins, aunts or uncles, or nieces or nephews.

  • You are 65 or older, OR
  • You are between 18 and 64 and have certain mental or physical disabilities that keep you from being able to do normal activities or protect yourself;
  • AND
  • You are a victim of
    • Physical or financial abuse,
    • Neglect or abandonment,
    • Treatment that has physically or mentally hurt you, or
    • Deprivation by a caregiver of basic things or services you need so you will not suffer physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Find more information about Elder and Dependent Abuse.

 

Workplace Violence Restraining Order

You can ask for a workplace violence restraining order if:

  • You are an employer, and
  • You ask for a restraining order to protect an employee who has suffered stalking, serious harassment, violence, or a credible (real) threat of violence at the workplace.

An employee CANNOT ask for a workplace violence restraining order. If the employee wants to protect him or herself, he or she can ask for a civil harassment restraining order (or a domestic violence restraining order if the abuser is a partner/spouse or former partner/spouse or close family member).

Find more information about Workplace Violence.

 

Court Process

The different types of restraining orders require different forms, but in all cases, you will need to describe what happened and why you need the restraining order. You will need to be specific, with dates, details of what the person you want protection from said and did, and copies of any photos, police reports or other evidence.

The general steps of the court process are the following:

  1. You ask the court clerk in Room 107 for an ex parte hearing date. You will have to let the other side know, by 10 a.m. the business day before the hearing date, of this court date. There may be an exception to this requirement if you have a very good reason for not letting them know ahead of time.
  2. You will have to turn in your paperwork by 11 a.m. the day of your court hearing, in Room 107.
  3. At the ex parte hearing, a judge will review your papers and he or she will decide whether to give you a temporary restraining order. Either way, you will get a court date within 21 days and you will have to officially file all your papers with the court.
  4. At least 5 days before your court date, someone 18 or older will have to serve (give) the papers on the other party. You can ask the Sheriff's Office to do this, for free. The Sheriff’s Office is at 589A Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.
  5. You must come to your court date to ask for a permanent restraining order, which can be made for up to 5 years.

 

Getting Help

 

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 9-1-1

 

For a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

If you need help with a domestic violence restraining order or a restraining order against someone who sexually assaulted, or if you need emergency shelter, counseling, or help going to court, contact Project Sanctuary at:

 

Inland Office
564 South Dora Street
Ukiah, CA  95482
(707) 462-9196

 

Coastal Office
461 North Franklin Street
Fort Bragg, CA  95437
(707) 961-1507

 

 

The Self-Help Legal Access (SHLA) Center can also help you with a restraining order. We cannot go with you to court. If you want help from the SHLA Center, bring as much information as you have about the person you want protection from, like full name, physical description, address, make, model and license plate of their car, age and date of birth.

If you need an emergency restraining order and Project Sanctuary or the Self-Help Center is closed, call the police and ask for an Emergency Protective Order or EPO. An EPO lasts from 5 to 7 days, and gives you time to go to court and ask a Temporary Restraining Order.

Click to find out more about domestic violence and domestic violence restraining orders

 

For a Civil Harassment, Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse, or Workplace Violence Restraining Order

The Self-Help Legal Access Center can also help you with these types of restraining orders. Remember that we can help you with the forms and understand the legal process, but we cannot go with you to court.

If you want help from the SHLA Center, bring as much information as you have about the person you want protection from, like full name, physical description, address, make, model and license plate of their car, age and date of birth.

Click too find out more about all types of restraining orders and get the forms.


© 2017 Superior Court of Mendocino County