Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Domestic Violence

What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A domestic violence restraining order is an order that helps protect you from someone with whom you have a close relationship and who is abusive. It may contain orders telling that person what they cannot do to you. It may also have orders that tell that person to stay a certain distance away from you.

Who can I file a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against?

You may request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, against your spouse or former spouse; person you are dating, or person you have dated; lover; mother or father of your child; anyone closely related to you by blood, marriage or adoption (example: mother, father, child, brother, sister, grandparent); or person who regularly lives in your home.

If we have children can the restraining order include custody orders?

If you and the other party have children together the court may make a Parenting Plan part of its orders.

Assistance completing Domestic Violence Restraining Order Forms

The court offers a free workshop on form preparation, Mondays, Wednesdays. and Fridays, excluding court holidays, at 8:45 a.m. (no late admittance). A Spanish Interpreter is available at the class. This class is for both men and women and is held in the Self-Help Computer Room, Room 113A, on the first floor of the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse, 3341 Power Inn Road. No appointment is necessary. Admittance into the workshop is on a first come, first served basis.

Free childcare is available to workshop participants with children ages 1-12 years in the children's waiting room.

Please be prepared to spend the entire day to complete the restraining order process.

Where do I file my forms?

Present completed domestic violence forms to the Family Law Filing Department of the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse.

What if I need an interpreter?

If you will need an interpreter at your restraining order hearing, tell the clerk when you file your restraining order forms so that one may be arranged for you.

When will I get my order?

If your forms are filed before 2:00 p.m. you will receive your order at 3:45 p.m. the same day. If the forms are filed after 2:00 p.m., then they will be ready for pickup after 3:45 p.m. the next business day. You must go to Window 3 in Room 102 of the Family Law Records Unit, at 3:45 p.m. to receive the judge's decision on your application for a restraining order. In most cases, a hearing will be set for you and the other party. It is your responsibility to have other person personally served. Proof of service for the other person must be presented and filed with court prior to or at the time of the Domestic Violence Restraining Order hearing.

How do I get the other party served?

If the party to be served lives or works in Sacramento County, the Sheriff can serve the documents. There is a Sheriff's Civil Division Office in Room 313 of the Family Relations Courthouse that is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. They can assist you in getting the other person served. If the person to be served lives and works outside of Sacramento County, you may contact the sheriff of that county for help. Be sure to contact them promptly so they will have enough time to serve the other party before your hearing dates.

If you prefer serving the restrained person on your own, ask someone you know to serve (give) a copy of the order to the restrained person. The server must be over 18 and not one of the parties protected by your order.

What if I can't get the restraining order served in time for the hearing or I need a continuance?

You can continue the hearing. There are two ways to continue your court date on your domestic violence case. If you have been unable to serve the defendant, you will need to complete a Request to Continue Hearing and Reissue Temporary Restraining Order (DV-115) and a Notice of New Hearing and Order on Reissuance (DV-116). The forms must be completed and filed along with a copy of your original Temporary Restraining Order, prior to 2:00 p.m. on the day before your scheduled hearing.

You may also orally request a continuance in court during your hearing. If your request for continuance is granted, the Judge will sign an order and set a new hearing date.

Both methods extend your Temporary Restraining Order so you will be protected until the new hearing date.

Domestic Violence Resources

The Domestic Violence Resources sheet contains information regarding various Sacramento private and governmental agencies or organizations offering assistance to those in violent situations. This information is not just limited to domestic violence restraining orders, but also has information on Crisis Hotlines/Shelters, Children's Emergency Service, Reporting Abuse, Other Legal Services, Batterer's Treatment Programs and Victim Counseling.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence - external link is a non-governmental agency that has information on domestic violence legislation and policy. You will also find other links and programs that are funded by this organization. This court has no affiliation with this agency.

The California Judicial Council offers Free and Low Cost Legal Help - external link (Spanish/EspaƱol) - external link to help you find people and information that can help you with your case. There is information on Libraries, Lawyers, Self-Help Legal Books, Legal Help Questions and Answers, and Legal Help in Other States.

The California Judicial Council gives answers to many domestic violence questions - external link like:

  • Where can I get help making a safety plan?
  • Can I use a restraining order to get a divorce?
  • Where can I find out about my rights in the criminal justice system?
  • What if I move to another state?