Restraining Orders

How to get a restraining order

The SAFE Family Justice Centers can assist you with restraining and protective orders related to domestic violence (intimate partner), teen dating violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse, and child abuse at no cost. Please call to schedule an appointment and talk to a Victim Advocate about your safety needs and to help determine if a restraining order is right for you.

You may also learn more about restraining orders and complete a Request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order online at The Riverside County Superior Court.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that helps protect people from abuse or threats of abuse from someone they have a close relationship with.

You can ask for a domestic violence restraining order if:

  1. A person has abused (or threatened to abuse) you; AND
  2. You have a close relationship with that person. You are:
    • Married or registered domestic partners,
    • Divorced or separated,
    • Dating or used to date,
    • Living together or used to live together(more than roommates),
    • Parents together of a child, OR
    • Closely related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).

If you are a parent and your child is being abused, you can also file a restraining order on behalf of your child to protect your child (and you and other family members). If your child is 12 or older, he or she can file the restraining order on his or her own.

If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, there are other kinds of orders you can ask for:

  • Civil harassment restraining order (can be used for neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members like cousins, uncle or aunt, etc.). Find more information on getting a civil harassment restraining order.
  • Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order (if the person being abused is 65 or older; or between 18 and 64 and a dependent adult). Find more information on getting an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order.
  • Workplace violence restraining order (filed by an employer to protect an employee from violence, stalking, or harassment by another person). Find more information on getting a workplace violence restraining order.


An EPO is a type of restraining order that only law enforcement can ask for by calling a judge. Judges are available to issue EPOs 24 hours a day. So, a police officer that answers a domestic violence call can ask a judge for an emergency protective order at any time of the day or night.

The emergency protective order starts right away and only lasts for 7 days. So, the victim of the abuse only has 7 days to file for a temporary restraining order (or TRO).


When there is a domestic violence incident (or series of incidents) that have been reported to the police, the district attorney may file criminal charges against the abuser. It is common for the criminal court to issue a criminal protective order against the person who is committing the abuse while the criminal case is going on. Victims of crime may request a no negative contact order or a no contact order. You should speak with a victim advocate at one of our centers to help you determine which order is best for you.

For questions specifically related to a Criminal Projective Order, contact the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office- Division of Victim Services .


When you go to court to ask for a domestic violence restraining order, you fill out paperwork where you tell the judge everything that has happened and why you need a restraining order. If the judge agrees that you need protection, he or she will give you a temporary restraining order.

Temporary restraining orders usually last between 20 and 25 days, or until the court hearing date. These orders may be converted in to a “permanent” restraining order.


When you go to court for the hearing that was scheduled for your TRO, the judge may issue a “permanent” restraining order. They are not really “permanent” because they usually last up to 3 years. Whenever the time period of your order runs out, you can ask for a new restraining order so you remain protected.


You can ask for an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order if:

  • 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;


    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.

To determine if a restraining order is right for you, read: Can a Restraining Order to Prevent Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Help Me? (Form EA-100-INFO).

Find more information about Elder and Dependent Abuse.


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.

When someone asks for a domestic violence restraining order in court, they have to file court forms telling the judge what orders they want and why. What happens next varies from court to court, but the general steps in the court case are outlined below.

The Steps

  1. The person wanting protection files court forms asking for the domestic violence restraining order. There is NO fee to file.
  2. The judge will decide whether or not to make the order by the next business day. Sometimes the judge decides sooner.
  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.
  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. The restrained person has the right to file an answer to the restraining order request, explaining his or her side of the story.
  6. 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 not 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.
  7. 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.
  8. If the judge also makes other orders in the restraining order, like child custody or child support orders, these orders will have different end dates and will last until the child turns 18 or a judge changes them.

When someone asks for a domestic violence restraining order in court, they have to file court forms telling the judge what orders they want and why. What happens next varies from court to court, but the general steps in the court case are outlined below.


You can complete and e-fax file your domestic violence forms online.

To request a Request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, click here.

(NOTE: You only have two hours to complete the order before the system automatically logs you off unless you “Sign Up to Save Your Work.”)

After completing your forms, fax file domestic violence forms by clicking here.

If you would like to print the forms and complete by hand:

  • Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Form DV-100);
  • Notice of Court Hearing (Form DV-109); and
  • Temporary Restraining Order (CLETS — TRO) (Form DV-110).

You may also need these forms if you need more space to describe why you need the restraining order:

If you have children with the person you want protection from and want a custody and visitation order, or want to change the one you already have, make sure you check the appropriate boxes on Item 12 on Form DV-100 AND fill out:

  • Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders (Form DV-105) and attach it to the Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order; AND
  • Child Custody and Visitation Order (Form DV-140) and attach to the Temporary Restraining Order.
  • If it applies to your case, also fill out Request for Order: No Travel With Children (Form DV-108).

If the restrained person violates (disobeys) any of the orders in your restraining order, act right away.


  • Show the police a copy of your orders and tell them your story. Give the police all of the facts only.
  • If the restrained person is there and has not been served (given) a copy of the order, ask the police officer to serve the orders. Make sure you give the police a Proof of Personal Service (CLETS) (Form DV-200) to fill out and return to you. Then, you must file this form at the court.


  • Write down what happened, when, where, and the names of any witnesses.
  • Make an audio copy of any threatening voicemail messages.
  • Print out any threatening e-mails or Internet postings.
  • Retain any threatening text messages.
  • Get copies of police reports.
  • If you were hurt, get copies of medical reports.
  • Record the communications if you are able to


Get copies of your restraining order and proof of service from the court clerk:

  • Keep 1 copy with you AT ALL TIMES. You may need to show it to the police. You may want to keep 1 in your car and another in your purse, backpack or briefcase.
  • Keep another copy in a safe place.
  • Give a copy to anyone else protected by the order.
  • Take copies to places where the restrained person is ordered NOT to go (school, work, daycare, etc.).
  • Make sure your local police have a copy, too. Ask them to enter it into CLETS, a special computer system that lets police all over the state find out about your order.


It is a crime to disobey the judge’s orders. The restrained person can:

  • Be fined, or
  • Go to jail.


Ask your local district attorney how he or she will handle your case. The DA may file criminal charges against the restrained person. You can always call the DA for information about a criminal case.


You can file papers in court asking the judge to find the restrained person in “contempt of court” for violating the restraining orders. The restrained person could be punished with 5 days in jail for each violation of the restraining order.

It is a crime to disobey the judge’s orders. The restrained person can:

  • Since the restrained person could go to jail, contempt actions are very serious and should only be used as a last resort, if the restrained person will not stop violating the order.
  • Contempt cases are very difficult and the restrained person will have the right to a court-appointed lawyer.
  • Make sure you have very detailed descriptions of each time the restrained person violated the order, including dates, times, witness statements, police reports, pictures, etc.
  • Talk to a lawyer to get help with the contempt paperwork and court process. Click for help finding a lawyer .

If you have a restraining order from another state, that order is valid in California. Law enforcement must enforce it as long as it is a valid order. If you want your out-of-state restraining order to be entered into California’s restraining order computer system, you can register your order in California. Once your order is in the computer system, it is available to law enforcement all over California so police officers across the state can find out about your order in case you need to call them.

To register your order with the court

  • Fill out Order to Register Out-of-State or Tribal Court Protective/Restraining Order (CLETS) Form DV-600.
  • Take your Form DV-600 with a certified copy of your restraining order to your local courthouse.
  • Once your court registers your order in California, ask the clerk if your court will send your order to the state computer system. If not, take a copy of the order to your local police department.

This information explains what to do before, during, and after the restraining order hearing. You can go to www.courts.ca.gov/dvforms for more information and to find the court forms listed in this information form

Before the hearing

  • 3 copies of all papers you filed for your case.
  • 3 copies of documents that support your case (police or medical reports, rental agreements or receipts, photos, bills). Be ready to give the other party copies of what you give to the judge. Sometimes the judge cannot look at or consider certain documents. The judge will decide which documents can be included in your case.
  • 3 copies of pay stubs or other proof of income (only if orders about money, such as child or spousal support, were requested). If the judge accepts your proof, s/he will also give a copy to the other person.

If needed, make arrangements for:

  • A support person. But that person cannot speak for you in court.
  • Witness(es) to testify in court. Or you may bring a witness’s signed statement of what they saw or heard. The witness’s statement can be on a sheet of paper that says Declaration at the top, and Signed under penalty of perjury at the bottom, just above the witness’s signature. Or the witness may use form MC-030, Declaration instead.
  • Exception: If the other person objects to your witness, that witness must be in court if you want the judge to hear from him or her.
  • The signed Proof of Service form. For more information, see DV-200-INFO, What Is “Proof of Personal Service?”
  • Make a list of the orders you want (or donʼt want), and practice saying it. You may only have a few minutes to talk to the judge. If you get nervous at the hearing, just read from your list. You may also write a statement and read it to the judge. You may also say other things after you read the statement.
  • Childcare. Most of the time, children will not be allowed in the courtroom during the hearing. Call the court and ask if they have a children’s waiting room. If not, arrange for childcare.
  • If you do not speak English well, ask the clerk for an interpreter. The clerk may ask you to fill out a request form if you want the court to have an interpreter at the hearing. If the court cannot give you an interpreter, bring an adult to interpret for you. Do not ask a witness or a child involved in your case to interpret for you.

If the hearing is about getting a restraining order against you:

  • Go to the hearing! If you miss it, the judge can make orders without hearing your side.
  • Read DV-120-INFO, How Can I Respond to a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
  • You can fill out and file a court form to tell the judge your side (form DV-120, Response to Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order). Take 3 copies of this form to the court hearing.
  • Note: If the other person asks for orders about money (child or spousal support or other financial orders), read form DV-570 to see if you should fill out an Income and Expense Declaration or a Simplified Financial Statement.

At the hearing

Get to court at least 30 minutes early. Find your courtroom. When it opens, go in and tell the courtroom clerk or law enforcement officer you are present, and the names of any witnesses, and if the witness needs an interpreter.

  • Do not sit near or talk to the other person. If you are afraid of the other person, tell the officer.
  • Watch the other cases so you will know what to do.
  • Go to the front of the courtroom when they call your name.
  • You may be at court several hours. It depends on how many cases there are. Your hearing may last just a few minutes or over an hour.

Warning! If you asked for the restraining order but do not go to the hearing, your temporary restraining order will end and there may not be a hearing. The court could make other orders if the other side asks, even if the restraining order is not granted. To get another restraining order, you must fill out and file a new set of forms.

In the courtroom

The judge may ask you questions. The other people in the case and their lawyers may ask questions, too.

    • Tell the truth. Speak slowly. Give complete answers. You can read from your list.
    • Try to answer exactly what the judge asks.
    • If you don’t understand, say “I don’t understand the question.”
  • Speak only to the judge unless it’s your turn to ask questions or the judge tells you to answer a question from the other person or his/her lawyer.
  • Do not interrupt anyone! If the other person tells a lie, wait until s/he finishes talking, then tell the judge.

The court may postpone (continue) your case if:

  • The person to be restrained has not been served or needs time to get a lawyer or prepare an answer.
  • The judge wants more information or your hearing is taking longer than planned.

If this happens, you will have to come back another day. The person who asked for the order may ask the judge to make the temporary orders last until the new hearing date. The court might use form DV-116 for the new hearing.

At the end of the hearing

For most cases, the judge will make decisions about your case at the end of the hearing. To decide if the requested orders should be approved or not, the judge will decide if the evidence shows that the person asking for protection is entitled to a restraining order. The judge will consider the evidence and the safety risks of the adults and children involved in the case. If the judge makes orders at the hearing, the orders will be on form DV-130, Restraining Order After Hearing.

If you asked for the order(s):

  • The court clerk might fill out form DV-130. If so, s/he will take it to the judge. If not, ask who should fill it out, and where to file it. After the form is filed, the court clerk will give you up to 3 copies.
  • Read the signed form DV-130 carefully. If anything is different from what the judge said in court, ask the clerk for help right away. Or talk to your lawyer, if you have one.
  • Your temporary orders expire at midnight of the date of your hearing. File your new order the same day so you will be protected.
  • If the court makes the restraining order, the clerk will send form DV-130, Restraining Order After Hearing to law enforcement. Doing this puts your orders in a database called CLETS. This lets police everywhere in the state know about the orders.
  • Important! Always keep a copy of the restraining order with you.

Family Court Services

If you ask for parenting time (custody and visitation) orders, the court may send both parents to Family Court Services for court-connected mediation or child custody recommending counseling. For more information, see forms: FL-313-INFO, Child Custody Information Sheet —Recommending Counseling, or FL- 314-INFO, Child Custody Information Sheet—Child Custody Mediation. If you are sent to Family Court Services, the judge may extend the date of the orders (or make new temporary orders) to last until your next court date.

After the Hearing

f you asked for the restraining order, and the court made the order… You must have the other person served with a copy of form DV-130. You may have him or her served with a copy of form DV-130 in the courtroom after the hearing or by mail. If the restrained person was not at the hearing and the new orders are

  • the same as the temporary order, you may have the other person served with a copy of form DV-130 by mail. Ask the server to complete form DV-250.
  • different from the temporary order, you must have someone serve form DV-130 in person, not by mail. Ask the server to complete form DV-200, Proof of Personal Service, and give it back to you.

Important! You must file a completed form DV-200, Proof of Personal Service, or form DV-250, Proof of Service by Mail. Keep a copy for your records. Keep a copy of the orders with you at all times.

Other orders

If you asked for support or child custody/visitation orders, you may also get one of these forms:

  • Form DV-140, Child Custody and Visitation Order, if the judge ordered child custody or visitation.
  • Form FL-342, Child Support Information and Order Attachment, or form FL-343, Spousal, Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment, if the judge orders child support and/or spousal support.

If the court made a restraining order against you…

  • You must obey orders the judge makes at the hearing. Orders are written on form DV-130. If you do not obey them, you could be arrested.
  • You will be served the Restraining Order After Hearing (form DV-130) at the hearing or within a few days, by mail or in person.
  • Read the signed form DV-130 carefully when you receive it. If anything is different from what the judge said, ask the court clerk for help right away. Or talk to your lawyer, if you have one.

If you do not receive a copy of the orders within a few days, ask the clerk for a copy.

Review How Do I Turn In, Sell, or Store My Firearms (DV-800-INFO/JV-252-INFO).

Need more help?

Ask the court clerk about free or low-cost legal help. Ask for information at the court about the Self-Help Center or Family Law Facilitator Office.

For a referral to a local domestic violence or legal assistance program, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline:


TDD: 1-800-787-3224

It’s free and private. They can help you in more than 100 languages.

What if you are deaf or hard of hearing?

Assistive listening systems, computer-assisted real-time captioning, or sign language interpreter services are available if you ask at least five days before the proceeding. Contact the clerk’s office or go to <a href="https: //www.courts.ca.gov/forms" target="_blank">www.courts.ca.gov/forms</a> for Request for Accommodations by Persons With Disabilities and Order (form MC-410). (Civil Code, § 54.8)

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