Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Questions Answered

Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Questions Answered

What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)?

A DVRO stands for Domestic Violence Restraining Order. It is a legal document issued by a court that provides protection to victims of domestic violence or abuse. A DVRO restricts the actions of the person who is abusing or threatening the victim. It is aimed to prevent contact or further harm to the victim. It may include provisions such as ordering the abuser to stay away from the victim, their home, or workplace. It can also order an abuser to stay away from the couple’s children and pets. The specific terms and conditions of a DVRO can vary based on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case.

How do I get a DVRO in California?

To obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) in California, you would typically follow these steps:

1. Visit the courthouse: Go to your local courthouse and ask the clerk for the required forms to file for a DVRO. They may also provide informational packets to guide you through the process.

2. Fill out the paperwork: Complete the necessary forms, such as the Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Form DV-100). Provide detailed information about the incidents of domestic violence and include any supporting evidence, such as photographs, medical records, or witness statements.

3. File the forms with the Court: Return the completed forms to the clerk. They will provide you with a case number and a hearing date. Keep in mind that there may be filing fees, but if you're unable to afford them, you can request a fee waiver.

4. Serve the papers: You must have a third party (not yourself) serve the papers to the respondent (the person you're seeking protection from) in person. This can be done by a law enforcement officer, a process server, or someone over 18 who is not involved in the case.

5. Attend the hearing: On the scheduled hearing date, appear in court. Be prepared to present your case and any evidence supporting your request for a DVRO. The judge will evaluate the evidence and decide whether to grant the order.

It is essential to consult with a family law attorney regarding specific jurisdiction specific information.  They can help guide you through the process and provide further assistance for your situation.

What Rights can protect me against domestic violence?

If you are in a relationship and are the victim of domestic violence, it's important to know that you have certain legal rights and protections that can help ensure your safety. These rights may vary depending on your jurisdiction, but some common protections include:

1. Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs): A DVRO is a court order that can provide legal protection against contact, harassment, or abuse from the perpetrator. It may include provisions such as keeping a certain distance, granting you custody of children, and prohibiting the abuser from possessing firearms.

2. Right to report: You have the right to report domestic violence incidents to law enforcement. They can investigate the situation, provide immediate assistance (emergency protective order), and refer you to resources for support, including shelters, counseling services, and legal aid.

3. Right to safety: You have the right to be safe in your own home. If you feel unsafe, consider creating a safety plan that may involve staying with a trusted friend or family member, contacting a local shelter, or seeking assistance from domestic violence support organizations.

4. Right to privacy: Domestic violence survivors have the right to privacy and confidentiality. You can request that your personal information, such as your address and contact details, be protected to prevent the abuser from accessing it.

5. Right to medical attention: If you require medical attention due to domestic violence, you have the right to receive appropriate care and treatment. Medical professionals can document your injuries, which can be useful as evidence if you decide to pursue legal action.

It is important to consult with a legal professional, contact a local domestic violence hotline, or seek assistance from organizations specializing in domestic violence support. They can provide you with accurate information tailored to your specific situation, ensuring you understand your rights and have the necessary resources to protect yourself.

Is it hard to get a DVRO in California?

Obtaining a DVRO in California typically involves some paperwork and a court hearing, but it may not necessarily be difficult. The process can vary depending on the specific circumstances and jurisdiction, and the difficulty can depend on various factors, such as the availability of evidence, the cooperation of witnesses, and the judge's decision. However, California has laws in place to prioritize the safety of domestic violence survivors, and courts are generally committed to providing protection when there is a genuine need. It's crucial to reach out to local domestic violence support organizations or legal professionals who can guide you through the process, provide assistance, and ensure you have the best chance of obtaining the protection you need.

What resources are available to help me get a DVRO?

If you are considering filing a DVRO (Domestic Violence Restraining Order) in California,  there are several resources available to help you through the process. Here are a few options:

1. Local courthouses: Visit your local courthouse and ask the court clerk for information and forms related to filing a DVRO. They can provide you with the necessary paperwork and guide you through the process.

2. Domestic violence support organizations: Contact domestic violence support organizations in your area, such as shelters, hotlines, or legal aid organizations. They can offer guidance, emotional support, and may have staff or volunteers who can help you with the paperwork or accompany you to court.

3. California Courts Self-Help Center: The California Courts website has a self-help section dedicated to DVROs. It provides resources, forms, and instructions on how to navigate the process. You can visit their website at

4. Local law enforcement: If you believe you are in immediate danger, contact your local law enforcement agency. They can respond to emergencies, ensure your safety, and help connect you with additional resources.

Remember to consult with a family law attorney for guidance specific to your situation. Feel free to call our office for a consultation so that we can help you better understand your options, rights, and provide support throughout the process of obtaining a DVRO.

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