You have been served with notice that a restraining order has been filed against you in Los Angeles County. What now? What will happen at a restraining order hearing will vary somewhat from court to court. However, there are some basic steps and procedures California courts following when restraining orders are filed.
By the time you receive notice of a final restraining order hearing, the other party requesting the restraining order has already filed for and received a temporary restraining order against you. These temporary orders typically include terms such as:
- Ordering you to stay away from the home, work or school of the protected person or people;
- Ordering you to cease contact with the protected person or people, which includes letters, phone calls, emails, texts or any other type of communication; and/or
- Prohibiting you from owning, possessing or purchasing a gun or firearm while the order is in effect.
You may and should file a response to the restraining order petition stating your defenses. You have the right to attend the final restraining order hearing to defend yourself against the other party's allegations before a final restraining order can be issued against you.
If you do not attend the hearing, you will have no input in the case and a permanent restraining order for one to five years may be issued against you. If the party who filed for the restraining order does not attend the hearing, the temporary restraining order will be terminated that day.
At the hearing, the judge will hear testimony from both parties and possibly any witnesses. The judge may then:
- Grant the restraining order requested;
- Grant some of the protections requested, but not all;
- Deny issuing a restraining order entirely;
- Postpone the case and reschedule a new court date if:
- You need more time to retain an attorney or prepare an answer.
- The judge requests more information.
- Your hearing is has continued longer than planned.
If the judge postpones your case, he or she may decide to continue any temporary restraining orders until the next hearing date.
Typically, when a restraining order is filed against you, there is also a related criminal proceeding stemming from allegations of abuse, stalking or harassment. Any written or verbal statements you made at the restraining order hearing may be used against you in your criminal case. Contact us to represent you to ensure that your rights are properly protected.