What Proof Do You Need for a Restraining Order in California?

By Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP | Apr 10, 2023

The restraining order program in California has been regarded as one of the most important tools to keep victims safe from abusers until justice can take its course. It is a protective measure to reduce how much an alleged abuser can see or communicate with the person who enforced the order. These are often seen in domestic violence cases where one individual does not feel safe being around the other and wants to remove any risk of being abused again until they can deal with the matter in court. To prove that a restraining order is an appropriate measure for officials to implement, different types of proof are required to officially obtain a 2024 restraining order in California. Understanding these can take you one step closer to legally protecting yourself from future abuse.

Gathering Proof for a Restraining Order

No matter what type of restraining order you obtain, the individual who is seeking protection has a duty to prove that there is a reasonable belief to think that they are being abused. Evidence that can make this case includes:

  • Police report. A police report can take decision-makers back to the day of a reported incident. Their reports can contain information about what you alleged happened and what their observations were when they arrived at the scene. If they observed any unusual behaviors or marks of physical abuse on your body, it would be documented here.
  • Medical records. If you had to be seen immediately by a healthcare professional to treat injuries, this is a compelling piece of evidence. The medical report will go into further detail on what type of injuries were observed and may even be able to indicate a rough timeline of when the injury occurred based on the state of the injury when observed by a healthcare professional.
  • When you take pictures, it can be difficult to dispute what is seen in plain sight. Photos of your injuries or any property damage that can be connected to what you are saying the individual did will do a great service to helping you obtain a restraining order.
  • Written documentation. If you have been keeping a journal of incidents experienced throughout your relationship with the alleged abuser, this can be an extremely valuable piece of evidence to demonstrate the chronological abuse. Include as much information as you can about the date of the event, what time it occurred, and where you were located. Investigators will take this information seriously to see what connections they can make in a court of law or if any of the details in this journal conflict with what the defense is trying to claim happened.
  • Witness statements. Having someone speak on behalf of you can be an incredibly moving piece of evidence. It doesn’t even have to be someone who was in the room during the time of abuse because this is rarely the case. It could be a friend who you saw a few hours later and can speak to how you seemed off. Another option is a family member who may have observed some physical markings on your body the next day. Any third party who can support your allegations can be extremely helpful in securing a restraining order.


Q: What Paperwork Is Needed for a Restraining Order in California?

A: A petition to request a restraining order is the first piece of documentation that will need to be submitted. This paperwork contains details such as who you are requesting protection from and what exactly they did to warrant this protection request to be granted. Submitting evidence also contains varying levels of documentation to support your own account of what happened. Whether the order request is granted or you are asked to provide more information, there will be additional paperwork needed. Working with an Orange County restraining order lawyer will ensure you stay compliant with all documentation throughout the entire process.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Put a Restraining Order on Someone in California?

A: Because the nature of these requests can be very serious, there is no filing fee for a restraining order. This is to make sure that no one delays seeking needed protection due to financial concerns. However, hiring an attorney to support your case does come with legal fees attached to their services. There may also be additional costs for the delivery of the restraining order to the alleged abuser. If you are someone who has a low income or is proven to be a victim of domestic violence, there are scenarios where these fees can be waived. Your attorney will be aware of all the financial relief options and how to make sure you get the protection you need without breaking the bank.

Q: Can a Restraining Order Be Modified or Terminated in California?

A: Yes, you are not required to keep any type of restraining order in place that you no longer want. Sometimes circumstances change, and you may wish to either tweak some of the original requests or cancel the entire order. In either case, you will work with an attorney to file a request for modification or termination. The judge will then review what you have written and make a final determination. If the individual you had the order out on was non-compliant with any of its demands before the termination of the order, then they can still face repercussions even though you no longer wish to keep the protection order active.

Q: What Are the Consequences if the Alleged Abuser Violates a Restraining Order?

A: The court does not take restraining order violations lightly. Because these are intended to keep alleged abusers away from the victims who do not feel safe in their presence, it is very concerning when one of the requests is broken. A consequence could be as simple as a fine or as serious as being charged and thrown into prison if the violation indicates the individual will continue to break the restraining order. If you have any evidence the restraining order has been broken, such as text messages or surveillance footage of the individual on your property, it can go a long way in proving the violation and increasing their sentence.

Contact Quinn Dworakowski Family Law Attorneys Today

If you need a restraining order and need assistance in gathering proof, connect with the attorneys at Quinn Dworakowski Family Law Attorneys today. We are in the business of making sure California residents feel safe at all times, and we believe the power of a restraining order can make that happen.

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