A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is an injunctive order preventing another person from coming near you or contacting you in any way. To file a DVRO the party you are seeking protection from must be someone you had a romantic relationship with, related to, share a child with, or is a current or previous spouse. If the other person is a stranger or does not fall into one of those categories then a civil restraining order is required. An application to seek a DVRO protective order requires several forms, but most importantly evidence must be presented to show the need for the restraining order.
When granting a DVRO the Court considers 3 main factors. 1) Has an act of domestic violence occurred 2) is it likely without injunctive relief domestic violence will occur in the future, and 3) does the person seeking protective have a reasonable fear of future acts based on the past acts alleged.
When the DVRO is filed the Court will either grant or deny it on a temporary basis. If the DVRO is granted there is a hearing date set in 21 days to allow the restrained party to be served. The hearing will then be held to determine whether a more permanent order is warranted. If the DVRO is denied upon application the applicant can either still have a hearing in 21 days or waive the right to the hearing.
At the DVRO hearing the Court will hear evidence, including testimony regarding the underlying allegations listed in the application for protection. In San Diego County, at the hearing you normally only have 20-30 minutes for the Court to hear your matter. Thus, if either party would like to have other witnesses testify or written evidence presented, a longer hearing may be necessary and the Court will reset the matter for another day.
Potential orders in a DVRO:
Move Out Order
If you live with the person you are seeking protection from you can request the court order they be removed from the residence. The court can order exclusive use and possession of property to a party.
Orders Regarding Pets
A party can request sole possession of pets in their DVRO application.
If the parties have joint responsibilities like car payments or mortgages the party filing the DVRO can ask the Court to order the other party to continue paying certain financial obligations.
Order Regarding Vehicles
A party can seek exclusive use and possession of vehicles.
Child Custody Orders
If the protected and restrained party have children together orders can be made regarding whether the children will be included as protected parties and/or a parenting plan can be ordered.