Getting slammed with a restraining order is never something you want to deal with. Aside from the embarrassment of being in the situation in the first place, it comes with so many new rules about what you can and cannot do that it seems like you’re set up to fail from the beginning.
There are a few different types of restraining orders in California depending on the circumstances that led up to the order, and they all come with their own rules for the person they are restraining.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know about the types of restraining orders and what they do.
Types of restraining orders
The type of order has a lot to do with the timeline of the events that are in place and how urgent the situation is.
- An emergency protective order (EPO) is one that a police officer will ask for on behalf of the person seeking to restrain you. There are judges available 24 hours a day to implement the order and it can last up to seven days.
- A temporary restraining order (TRO) usually lasts about 20-25 days and needs to be requested in court.
- “Permanent” restraint orders do last for a long time, but they aren’t truly “permanent.” These are put in place after a hearing for a TRO and, if issued, can last up to 5 years.
- A criminal protective order or “Stay-Away” order can be put in place when there are criminal charges. A criminal protective order can be put in place during the proceedings and depending on the outcome of the trial, can be kept in place up to three years after the case is over.
Civil harassment restraining orders versus domestic violence restraining orders
Any of these restraining orders can apply in either a civil harassment or a domestic violence situation. The major difference between the two is the relationship you have with the person asking for the order.
In the case of domestic violence, there has to be a close relationship between the person asking for the order and the person being restrained, such as a spouse, partner or family member. A civil harassment restraining order, on the other hand, can apply to anyone
What limitations do I have if there’s a restraining order against me?
The civil harassment restraining orders are fairly limited. They can order you to stay away from the protected person and some of the routine places they go (like work and school). These orders can also keep you from having a gun while the order is in effect.
The domestic violence restraining orders can cover a lot more. A domestic violence restraining order can order all of the same things as a civil harassment restraining order and also order you to do things like move out of the house, pay certain bills, stay away from pets and restrict your spending.
In either case, the order should be clear about what is being restricted. Be sure you understand the details of the order because the consequences of violating a restraining order can be serious.