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Four Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders


There are four types of domestic violence restraining orders issued by the state of California that can help protect people from physical and/ or verbal abuse or threats of abuse. Emergency Protective Orders, Temporary Restraining Orders, “Permanent” Restraining Orders and Criminal Protective Orders are distinct because each is asked/filed for differently and some are valid longer than others.

According to domestic violence laws, abuse is considered physically hurting someone (intentional or reckless) by hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, pulling hair, or throwing objects. It also entails sexual assault, making someone afraid that he/ she is in danger of being seriously hurt, harassment, stalking, threatening, or not letting someone freely come and go from his/her home. In addition, domestic violence includes emotional, verbal or psychological abuse.


Abuse can be shown in many forms and often a combination is used by the abuser to prove power and control over the victim. To constitute domestic violence, abuse or threats of abuse would have to take place between people of a close relationship— meaning those who are intimately involved, related by blood, or related by marriage. Examples of this are: those who are married, registered domestic partners, divorced, separated, currently dating, used to date, currently living together, used to live together, parents together of a child, siblings, grandparents and in-laws. If you are a parent and your child is being abused, you can file a restraining order on behalf of your child (and you and other family members).


Emergency Protective Order (EPO)

This type of restraining order can only be asked for by law enforcement personnel who would call a judge to issue an EPO. EPO’s can be issued by a judge at any time during the day or night. For example, if a police officer responded to a domestic violence call at 2 A.M. and the victim showed clear signs of abuse, then the officer can ask a judge for an EPO. This restraining order is immediate and is valid up to seven days. This allows time for the victim to go to court to file for a TRO against his/her abuser.   


Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

This type of restraining order is granted by a judge upon hearing the facts regarding the domestic violence, the event(s) that happened and why a restraining order is needed. The victim must first fill out paperwork to include the facts of the circumstances surrounding the need for the court to grant a domestic violence restraining order. Upon the judge deciding protection is necessary, the restraining order is valid between 20-25 days, or until the date of the court hearing.