You must let the other party know the time, place and purpose of the hearing at least 24 hours in advance, unless giving such notice would place you in danger. If granted, temporary orders will be made by the court until a full hearing can be held, usually within three weeks.
Ex parte hearings are heard Monday through Friday at 11:00a.m. in Department N. To schedule an ex parte hearing, please contact the Clerk of the Superior Court at (707) 299-1104 for the current calendaring procedures.
· Step 1
Determine whether you feel harassed or threatened enough to file a restraining order. You may want to ask for assistance from an attorney or law enforcement officer to determine whether this is the best course of action for you. Remember, if you do not have sufficient cause to file a harassment restraining order, it can be easily overturned.
· Step 2
Ask a law enforcement official or attorney how to file a harassment restraining order in your particular jurisdiction. While the procedures may vary slightly, depending upon where you live, generally you will have to fill out specific forms for the restraining order and file them with a city or county clerk. While most restraining order forms come with directions on how to file the paperwork, you may want to have an attorney or law enforcement official review the paperwork with you.
· Step 3
Note that the initial harassment restraining order will be a temporary restraining order (TRO), with an expiration date that will occur anywhere from five to 15 days after the filing date. This gives the court a chance to review the order, and to decide whether or not to make it a permanent restraining order (PRO).
· Step 4
Decide whether you want to pursue a permanent harassment restraining order after you file the TRO. In many cases, a PRO will not be filed, especially in cases of domestic disputes, where one of both parties may reconsider. If you decide to file a PRO, however, it may be wise to hire an attorney to protect your interests and to make sure the court hears your case properly.
· Step 5
Refuse any contact with the restrained party after you file the harassment TRO. By appearing unsure or wishy-washy about your own desire to be protected, you will certainly sabotage any legal efforts to turn your TRO into a PRO.
· Step 1
Visit your local county court office. To locate your county court office, visit the California Court website listed below in Resources. The website provides business hours and locations for the court office in your county.
· Step 2
Ask for the necessary forms to file a restraining order. The court clerk will likely ask you about the nature of your relationship with the person you are seeking a restraining order against. For a domestic violence restraining order, the clerk will have you fill out California forms DV-100 and DV-110. A civil harassment order requires forms CH-100 and CH-120 and the dependent adult restraining order uses form EA-100. All of these forms are also available on the California Courts website, so you can fill them out ahead of time.
· Step 3
Fill out your forms completely and sign in the appropriate places. The court clerk will hand your forms to a judge who will rule on whether or not the restraining order should go into effect. The judge must make this determination within 1 business day after you file the forms.
· Step 4
Ask the clerk when you should return to court to learn the status of your restraining order. Usually, the clerk will give you a specific time to come back on the next business day.
· Step 5
Return to the court at your designated time, and if the judge has signed the order, you will receive five copies of a temporary restraining order from the court clerk. The temporary restraining order is valid for 3 weeks. Keep one copy with you at all times, and provide the other copies to any other individuals involved in the restraining order.
· Step 6
Hire someone to serve the person you are seeking protection from with one copy of the temporary restraining order. Anyone except you can serve the restraining order, but he must be older than 18. Do not mail the order. Many people hire a process server to serve the restraining order, but law enforcement officials in California will serve restraining orders for free.
· Step 7
Once the affected person has been served with the temporary restraining order, fill out a "Proof of Service" form, which is also available on the California Courts website. Make five copies of this form.
· Step 8
Check your temporary restraining order for the date and time of your hearing, where you will receive a permanent restraining order. Bring copies of all forms you have filled out regarding the restraining order--including five copies of the "Proof of Service" form completed in Step 7--and any medical or police reports that support your case. The judge may ask you to testify and may ask direct questions about your situation.
· Step 9
Wait for the judge's ruling, which typically happens at the very end of your hearing. If the judge decides to grant the restraining order, he will sign the order, and you will need to file it with the court clerk. As soon as the judge signs the order, the restraining order is in effect.