If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, please consider contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-787-3224 or texting "START" to 88788. Alternatively, this list of domestic violence resources in San Francisco may be helpful. Stay safe.
If you're a survivor/victim of domestic violence, understanding how to seek a restraining order could help you gain the protection you need and deserve for your case.
To schedule a consultation with our team for your domestic violence case, contact us online or via phone at (415) 650-1112.
Emergency Restraining Orders
Emergency restraining orders (EROs) are typically issued at the scene of a domestic disturbance. Law enforcement professionals who believe there's enough evidence at the scene to indicate an alleged abuser may commit more acts of domestic violence in the immediate future can request an ERO from a judge.
When a judge awards an ERO, it's typically a stop-gap measure to ensure the survivor/victim has enough time to get to a courthouse or other location that provides Temporary Ex Parte Restraining Orders (TROs).
Temporary Restraining Order
Once a survivor/victim has the opportunity to ask a court for a restraining order, a judge will assess whether they are in immediate danger of suffering from further abuse. If they believe the answer to that question is "yes," they can award a TRO without the other party (the alleged abuser) being present, otherwise known as an "ex parte" order.
Temporary restraining orders can impose a number of restrictions on alleged abusers, including:
- Preventing them from sharing a living space with the survivor/victim, or vacating a space they do share;
- Preventing them from contacting the survivor/victim in any way or by any means;
- Ordering them to stay a certain distance from the survivor/victim;
- Preventing them from owning certain weapons, such as firearms, that they could sue to continue perpetrating abuse;
- And more.
Generally, TROs last around three weeks. When a court issues a TRO, it will set a date for another hearing. However, TROs can be extended if it takes longer than three weeks for the court to hold its next hearing.
Permanent Protective Orders
A permanent protective order, or PPO, is only issued after a court can hold a hearing for the domestic violence case. At the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence to the court.
After hearing from both parties, if the court has reason to believe the alleged abuser is indeed guilty of committing acts of domestic violence, it can award the survivor/victim with a PPO. Permanent protective orders typically last up to five years, but can be extended upon expiration if the court believes the abuser still represents a threat to the survivor/victim.
At Fenchel Family Law, our team is here to help you receive the best possible outcome in your domestic violence dispute. To schedule a consultation with our domestic violence attorneys, contact us online or via phone at (415) 650-1112.