Requesting a Renewal on a Domestic Violence Restraining Order before Its Expiration

Wife [W] and Husband [H], both attorneys, were married and had two daughters together. They lived in El Dorado County, California, northeast of Sacramento.

In 2015, while in the midst of a divorce, W filed a request for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order [DVRO] against H.  In her request, W asked that H be restrained for violating W’s peace and that H keep away from her and their then-minor daughter [D].  Their other daughter was an adult and not included in the requested DVRO.

According to W, H had been verbally and emotionally abusive during the marriage and continued his abuse after their marital separation.  In her DVRO request, W stated that H was stalking her by putting a GPS tracking device on her car, going into her house when she and her daughter were not home, following her, intimidating, and harassing her.  At the hearing for her DVRO, she also noted that H had recently pleaded nolo contendere (a type of guilty plea) to assaulting the process server who was serving a copy of her request for a DVRO to H.

H denied that he attached a tracking device on her car. He stated that there was no emotional or mental abuse during their marriage, and that he did not visit her home.  The court agreed with W, and issued a DVRO for two years.  H appealed.  One month before the DVRO’s expiration date, W requested the DVRO be renewed.  After a hearing on the matter, the court issued a DVRO against H for five years, because H continued to defy the orders.  (It should also be noted that D was now an adult and not included in the new DVRO.)  H appealed arguing the court could not issue a new DVRO while his appeal on the original DVRO was pending.

The appellate court agreed with the trial court that the court could renew stating:

“’Where an injunction [and a DVRO is an injunction] of limited duration is appealed, the trial court has power to extend the injunction pending disposition of the appeal if doing so would serve the ends of justice.’ (City of Hollister v. Monterey Ins. Co. (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 455, 482.) Thus, the trial court had the authority to renew the DVRO pending disposition of the appeal from the granting of the original DVRO if doing so would serve the ends of justice. (Ibid.) The trial court, having determined that plaintiff satisfied her burden in seeking renewal of the DVRO necessarily concluded that renewing the DVRO “’would serve the ends of justice.’”

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