Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Court will be closed on Monday, February 13th in observance of Lincoln's Birthday

Which type of Restraining Order do I need?

If you need protection from a family member (for example, parent, spouse, child, sibling, or current in-law), or a dating partner (for example, current or former girl/boyfriend), you may file a Domestic Violence Restraining Order or Elder Abuse or Dependent Adult Restraining Order. If you need protection from someone else (for example, tenant, former in-law, friend, cousin, neighbor), you may file a Civil Harassment Restraining Order. If you need protection from a roommate, and you are not sure which type to file, you should consult an attorney.

What does it cost? Where do I get a fee waiver?

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order or Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order may be filed without charge (you do not need a fee waiver application).

Where do I file?

Present completed domestic violence and elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order forms to the Family Law Filing Department at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse.

Can I file for my child?

Yes. If the child is over 12 years old, the child can file the paperwork his or herself or through a Guardian Ad Litem and the child must appear at all court proceedings in person or through the Guardian Ad Litem. A parent cannot sign the application on behalf of the child unless he or she is listed as the Guardian Ad Litem or a protected party.

If the child is under 12 years old, there must be a Guardian Ad Litem. An application to be appointed a minor's Guardian Ad Litem will need to be completed, and the restraining order application must state which adult is acting as the Guardian Ad Litem. You may obtain an Application and Order for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem of a Minor (FL-935) online.

I only want a temporary order. Can I just fill out that paperwork?

No. Requesting a Restraining Order is a multi-step process. You cannot just request a temporary order. If your situation is serious enough to warrant a restraining order from the court, you are required to also request a Permanent Restraining Order. If you only fill out the temporary restraining order, your paperwork will not be accepted for filing.

How long does it take to get a hearing?

If the judge grants a hearing date to discuss the need for a Permanent Domestic Violence or Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order, it will be scheduled 21 to 25 days from the date you filed your paperwork. Look carefully at your paperwork to see if and when a hearing was scheduled. At the hearing, only you or an attorney may speak on your behalf; however, a support person may sit with you at the hearing, but may not speak for you.

Service of the Temporary Restraining Order and Hearing Date?

Anyone over the age of 18 who is not a protected party on your restraining order can serve the documents for you. This can be a friend or family member or you can pay a process server. If you do not have a friend or family member who can serve the restrained party and you cannot afford to pay a process server, if the restrained party lives or works in Sacramento county, the Sheriff's Civil Bureau - external link can serve the documents for you. 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 respondent before the scheduled hearing date.

Is my order effective today?

Your restraining order is ONLY effective once it has been served on the defendant. You must have your server fill out the Proof of Service form and return it to you immediately after the delivery is made. File the Proof of Service with the court. Once the Proof of Service is processed by the Court, the restraining order information is entered into the Law Enforcement computer system and is then accessible state-wide.

What do I do if I can't get my order today?

If you missed the 2:00 p.m. filing time, and are concerned about your immediate safety, please refer to the Domestic Violence resource sheet which is also attached to the back of the Domestic Violence Restraining Order form packet. The resource sheet lists resources of assistance available in the Sacramento community.

Do I really have to fill out all these forms? It looks like these forms don't apply to me.

The Domestic Violence and Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse form packets contain all the necessary forms for your case. Follow the instructions on how to complete the forms. If you need assistance with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, you may contact the Self-Help Center through their e-Correspondence System. If you need assistance with an Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order, you may contactthe Self-Help Center through their e-Correspondence System. If your forms are not complete, they will not be accepted for filing.

What if I don't want what the forms are asking for?

You may select those orders you are requesting. If you do not wish to ask for certain orders, you may choose to leave those sections blank. If you have left a required section blank, the clerk will not file your forms until that section has been completed.

Do I have to make copies?

If you are filing a Domestic Violence or Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order, you do not need to make copies before filing. Once the judge makes a decision to award a Temporary Restraining Order, the court will provide copies to you.

Can I file against more than one person on the same packet?

No. You must use one packet per person against whom you are requesting a restraining order.

Can I add my family/kids/people I live with on the restraining order?

Yes. It will be up to a Judge whether family members or friends who do not live at your address may be included in the "umbrella" of protection provided in a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

How do I file against my roommate?

If you need protection from a roommate, and you are not sure which type of restraining order to file, you should consult with an attorney.

Can I get a "kick-out" order?

You can request a "kick-out" order under the section called the "move-out" request in the Domestic Violence Restraining Order. A move-out order requires the person you live with and who is abusing you to move out of the house. If the Judge approves a move-out order in the Temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the other person will need to leave temporarily, taking only what personal belongings he/she needs until the hearing date. At the hearing date the Judge will decide if the move-out order should be permanent and how to accomplish that move. Sometimes you can contact local law enforcement for a Civil Stand-by and a Judge can make this an order of the court.

Can I add documentation/police reports/pictures?

You can attach additional documentation such as photographs of injuries or personal property damage, police reports or criminal restraining orders, etc., to your Restraining Order at the time of filing.

My forms keep getting rejected at the window. Is there any place I can go to for help?

The court offers free Domestic Violence Restraining Order workshops and Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order workshops.The workshop instructor offers direction while you complete the forms in class.

Can I request custody/support in the Restraining Order?

If you and the other party have minor children together and you need custody and/or support orders and a restraining order, you can complete the form packet, Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Step 1) For Parties with Common Minor Children.

Custody and Visitation: The Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Step 1) For Parties with Common Minor Children packet includes forms to request custody orders along with the Restraining Order. You may complete the forms for Custody, Visitation, No Travel orders, and Supervised Visitation in this packet.

Child and/or Spousal Support: If you wish to get a support order in addition to and at the same time as a restraining order, you must also complete the Child Support form FL-342 and/or the Spousal Support form FL-343 in the restraining order packet and an Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150),and turn both form packets in.If you are having difficulty completing the Income and Expense Declaration on your own, the Self-Help Center offers a free workshop.