Domestic Violence Permanent Orders

Permanent Orders in Cases of Domestic Violence

Under California law, domestic violence victims can seek orders of protection against their abusers.  There are different types of orders including temporary and permanent orders.  An example of a permanent order is the Criminal Protective Order.  This type of order is intended to protect a victim of domestic violence from an abusive intimate partner for an indefinite period of time.  An intimate partner relationship is legally defined as a married or divorced couple, couple who live together who may or may not have children together, and couples who are dating.  California domestic abuse laws are relevant for all intimate partners regardless of sexuality.

The most permanent restraining order available in California is the Criminal Protective Order.  It is initially granted for up to a five year period.  Once it expires, it can be extended an additional five years or the court can make it a permanent order.  Permanent orders are awarded in cases where abusers have a high likelihood of continuing their harassment or seek to abuse the victim again and the victim remains afraid of the abuser. The court can grant permanent orders without additional incidents of abuse or harassment of the victim.  It can also make changes to orders at its discretion.

The list of prohibited behavior can be extensive and detailed in a Criminal Protective Order.  For example, the offender may be prohibited from stalking, battering, attacking, calling, sexually assaulting, threatening, or destroying property belonging to the victim. The order will prohibit contact of any kind with the victim.  Prohibited contact may extend to family members or other individuals.  The court can include additional prohibitions in the order.  Such an order can prevent an abuser from returning to his or her home or being near children the couple have together.

To get a Criminal Protective Order, an intimate partner abuse victim is required to request a temporary restraining order against the abuser.  It is possible to request the order “ex-parte” so the abuser is not required to be present at the court hearing.  Temporary restraining orders are typically awarded the day they are filed.  The order will remain in effect until the “Order to Show Cause” hearing takes place which is usually within three weeks of the temporary restraining order becoming effective.  The purpose of the hearing is so the court can hear from both parties to decide whether to extend or revoke the temporary restraining order.  If sufficient evidence is provided at this time, the judge can write a Criminal Protective Order.

A family law attorney with a full understanding of domestic violence laws in California is qualified to help the victim or the alleged perpetrator of intimate partner violence.  It is particularly important that the victim have proper legal representation at the Order to Show Cause hearing since the future of a temporary restraining order is determined.

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