Restraining Order Hearings

Under California’s Code of Civil Procedure, restraining orders protect people against harassment, abuse, stalking, or violent threats.

To obtain a restraining order, the person filing must have firm evidence and testimonies to prove the need for legal protection from the court system.

If you or a loved one received a restraining order, the smart thing to do is to first hire an experienced defense attorney to get you prepared for the restraining order hearing. The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan can not only help you prepare, but they can be with you every step of the way.

Restraining Orders

Restraining orders, also known as personal protection orders, can protect people from physical harm, sexual abuse, harassment, and stalking. The person covered by the order is called the protected person, and the other party is known as the restrained person.

Levels of protection provided by restraining orders
Restraining orders offer three levels of protection:

  • Personal conduct orders: These orders limit actions against the protected people, such as physical harm, sexual assault, property damage, and communication.
  • Stay-away orders: A stay-away order directs the restrained person to stay away from the protected person’s home, workplace, vehicle, and other frequented areas.
  • Residence exclusion: A residence exclusion orders the restricted person to leave the protected person’s home with only their clothes and personal items until the hearing.
Table of Contents

    Restraining Order Types

    California law recognizes four types of restraining orders:

    • Domestic violence: This restraining order protects people from domestic abuse from someone they have an intimate relationship with, such as a spouse or a domestic partner. The two parties may also be relatives or in-laws.
    • Elder or dependent adult abuse: Those over 65 who experience financial or physical neglect or are deprived of basic needs and services may file a restraining order for elder abuse. People with certain physical or mental disabilities aged 18 to 64 can obtain a dependent adult abuse restraining order.
    • Civil harassment: Granted to protect people from those not in an intimate relationship, such as a distant relative or neighbor.
    • Workplace violence: An employer can request a work violence restraining order if a worker is stalked, harassed, or violently threatened while on company premises.

    Filing Restraining Orders in California

    An individual can seek a restraining order by going to court and completing paperwork to apply for the order. The documentation must detail the situation and how it threatens their life. It’s important to make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly. It is advised to hire an attorney to do this for you, to avoid mistakes.

    A judge reviews the form and determines whether to grant a temporary restraining order (TRO). A TRO is valid for 21 days after its issuance. During this time, the court reviews evidence to decide whether the TRO should become a permanent restraining order.

    The restrained person receives a notice of hearing from a process server, and proof of service is required to show the court sent the notice.

    How to Win a Restraining Order Hearing

    Restraining orders prohibit contact with the protected person. Depending on your relationship with the protected person, a restraining order can significantly impact your ability to go about your daily routine, see family and friends, or attend work. In the case of a residence exclusion, it can even prevent you from living in your own home.

    Experienced criminal defense attorney Mariya Melkonyan can help you understand your right to state your case and provide you with legal representation at your restraining order hearing.

    Properly Organize Evidence

    Make sure to hire an experienced lawyer who can organize evidence such as photos and text messages between you and the protected person during or after a conflict to support your story. Mariya Melkonyan can use this evidence to challenge the restraining order before the court.

    Prepare for the full restraining order hearing

    As a former prosecutor, Mariya Melkonyan can request your testimony from the full hearing if you have criminal charges resulting from the TRO. Her team can help you prepare your testimony and avoid self-incrimination. Being well prepared in what to say in court and how to present your testimony with your lawyer can prevent the restraining order from becoming permanent.

    Present your case at the hearing

    The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan are experienced and knowledgeable defense attorneys. Make sure you have experienced representation on your side helping you defend against restraining orders in court. Mariya’s team will establish that your actions were unintentional and argue they do not warrant the implementation of a restraining order.

    Gather third-party witnesses

    A third-party witness can be someone who was present at the time of the incident from which the restraining order was issued. These could be a neighbor, coworker or a distant family member. If there are multiple witnesses, your attorney will interview them separately and request for them to show up for the hearing.

    What Happens at the Hearing?

    During the restraining order hearing process, the judge holds an immediate hearing for the plaintiff to review the paperwork, decides whether to issue a TRO, and sets a date for the full hearing. Each party presents their case at the full hearing.

    Ex Parte Hearing

    Restraining order cases begin with an ex parte hearing, where the judge listens to what the plaintiff says. This type of hearing is called “ex parte” since only the plaintiff can present their side‌. They decide if a TRO can protect the plaintiff until the full restraining order hearing takes place.

    The Full Hearing

    The restrained person’s lawyer can present evidence and call witnesses to assert that a restraining order is unjustified; however, the protected person and their attorney can also present evidence in support of the order. They can also ask for additional conditions on the restraining order. Here is where an experienced attorney can help you tremendously fight and win a restraining order hearing.

    After hearing from both parties, the judge decides whether to give the protected person a permanent restraining order.

    Parties Present at the Hearings

    The judge oversees the courtroom along with other court staff members, such as the court reporter, deputy sheriff, and court clerk. The court reporter keeps a record of the proceedings, and the court clerk manages documents, evidence, and witness oaths.

    Both parties and their attorneys may be present in the courtroom, as well as witnesses or experts called for the hearing.

    What Happens After the Restraining Order Hearing?

    If the judge agrees with the restrained person’s attorney, the TRO expires and doesn’t become a permanent restraining order. However, if the court determines a protective order is necessary, the judge can issue a protective order that is valid for up to five years.

    Restraining Order Hearing FAQs

    Can you cancel a restraining order before the hearing?

    If you wish to cancel a restraining order before the hearing, you must complete a Waiver of Hearing on Denied Request for Temporary Restraining Order form. You should send this form to the court as soon as possible, or have an experienced defense attorney represent you. You do not have to serve the other party with the documents if you cancel the hearing.

    What happens if the defendant does not show up to the restraining order hearing?

    If the defendant does not appear at the hearing, they have no input in your case, and the judge can decide the restraining order. A judge can issue orders related to child support and other matters without hearing from the defendant.


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    Contact Melkonyan Law Offices for Your Restraining Order Hearing

    Restraining orders can affect your quality of life and have serious repercussions. Having a lawyer by your side can protect your legal rights if you receive notice of a temporary or permanent restraining order.

    Contact Mariya Melkonyan from the Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan to develop a legal strategy to win your case. Schedule your free consultation today.

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