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How to Enforce a California Restraining Order

Last updated 4 years ago

Once the court issues you a restraining order, you should get copies of the restraining order and proof of service from the court clerk. One copy should be kept with you at all times in case you need to show it to the police, while the other copies should be kept in your car, purse, and other secure places. If the person you took a restraining order against violates the order in any way, you need to act immediately in order to protect your rights and safety. Here’s how:

Call the police
It’s a good idea to provide your local police with a copy of your restraining order. If the restrained person violates the order, call the police immediately. If the police don’t have a copy of the order, you can provide them with your personal copy. This allows the police to serve the order. Once the police arrive, make sure you provide them with a blank Proof of Personal Service to be filed with the court.

Gather proof of the violation
In order to prove that the restrained person violated court orders, you need to write down exactly what happened and get the names of any witnesses. If you’ve received a threatening voicemail message, make a copy. You should also print out any threatening e-mails, Internet postings, or threatening text messages. If you were injured in the incident, you should get copies of any medical or emergency room reports.

Press charges
You can ask your local police and district attorney to press charges against the restrained person for his or her violation. You can also file a civil contempt action in court, which asks a judge to punish the restrained person with five days of jail time for each violation.

Moreno Family Law has been handling San Jose family law matters for more than 20 years. Led by Certified Family Law Specialist Marilyn E. Moreno, our firm represents clients in various family law issues, including divorce and child custody. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at (408) 266-9011.


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