“Kim and her staff handled the situation with sensitivity, empathy and caution, reaching out to other attorneys and researching law enforcement advisement when necessary. She was always available to me, and even though the bills added up, I feel she worked” - Former Client
“I didn't think I would get so flustered in court, but I'm glad we had the support of Ms Prendergast to help guide us along. We won our restraining order and we are so thankful for her help, professionalism, and guidance. I highly recommend.” - Former Client
California offers four types of restraining orders for different situations:
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order if you have a close relationship with the abusing party.
- Elder Abuse or Dependent Abuse Restraining Order if the abused person is 65 years or older or otherwise disabled.
- Workplace Violence Restraining Order if an employer seeks to protect their employee from abuse or danger at the workplace.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order if you do not have a close relationship with the abusing party.
In the context of the law, a “close relationship” refers to relation by marriage (including divorced partners), domestic partnerships, present and former dating relationships, co-parents, co-habitants, and other family members (e.g., in-laws).
While restraining orders are often discussed in the context of domestic partnerships or the workplace, you have every right to seek protection regardless of these relationships. If you are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone you are not in a close relationship with, you can ask for a civil harassment restraining order for protection. Some common examples of individuals subject to civil harassment orders include:
- distant family members.
The first step to obtaining a civil harassment restraining order is by completing the appropriate court forms and filing them with the local court clerk. The judge will then review the forms and decide whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order (lasting 21 days) until the date of the final court hearing for a permanent restraining order. At this point, a notice of the court hearing must be given to the restrained part, and you must give proof of service to the court.
At the final hearing, the judge will examine evidence from both parties, after which it may decide to grant a permanent civil restraining order that can protect you for up to 5 years.
In general, a restraining order will prevent the restrained party from doing a certain action against the protected party, such as prohibiting them from:
- contacting the protected party (through mail, phone, or in person);
- visiting or coming into close contact with the protected party’s children or family members;
- getting near the protected party’s workplace or school.
Most restraining orders will also prohibit the restrained person from owning, possessing, or buying a firearm for the duration the order is in place.
Violating any terms of a restraining order is a criminal offense, and the offender could face a range of penalties from imprisonment to thousands in fines.
Do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Kimberly Prendergast for legal assistance in your restraining order matter. We can help you file a petition for protection, as well as build a strong case for the final hearing. The law is in place to protect you, and you have every right to take legal action with a restraining order if you fear a threat of violence or have experienced harassment in any civil or domestic environment.
Schedule a initial consultation with the Law Offices of Kimberly Prendergast to get started on your civil harassment restraining order petition today. Serving Riverside, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties.