Domestic Violence

For victims of domestic violence, a court may issue an ex parte (literally, "without notice," but in actuality, "with limited notice") temporary restraining order protecting the victim from further acts of violence. Although the term "ex parte" literally translates to mean "without notice" the applicant for the order must provide the defendant with at least four (4) hours telephone notice (Orange County) of the application. The notice must inform the defendant why the order is being sought, when the ex parte hearing will be held (usually 1:30 p.m. in Orange County), and where the ex parte hearing will be held (in Orange County, at the Family Court, 341 The City Drive in Orange, and that further information is available in the Clerk’s Office, room C-76, on the seventh floor). If granted, the order will go into effect immediately. The court will set a hearing date about three weeks (no more than 25 days) after the date of the temporary order at which time the defendant will have an opportunity to oppose the order at a hearing. If the court grants the order, it may remain in effect for up to three (3) years.

Types of Domestic Violence Orders:

There are three different types of domestic violence restraining orders: Orders issued pursuant to the Domestic Violence Protection Act, orders issued pursuant to the Family Law Act, (issued in connection with marital dissolution proceedings) and orders issued pursuant to the Civil Injunction Against Harassment Act.

Domestic Violence Protection Act:

An order issued under the Domestic Violence Protection Act can be issued to protect:

* A spouse or a former spouse;

* A person with whom the applicant has or had a dating relationship;

* A child from a parent;

* A cohabitant or former cohabitant;

* A relative by blood, marriage or adoption.

There is no filing fee charged in connection with an application for a restraining order pursuant to the Domestic Violence Protection Act.

Family Law Act Domestic Violence:

Orders issued pursuant to the Family Law Act may be issued Ex Parte (without or with limited notice to the other person) in a marital proceeding (Family Code §2045(b)) as well as in connection with other relationships (see above). The types of orders the court may issue are defined in Family Code §6218, and are further described in Family Code §6320 (orders "enjoining a party from contacting, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, telephoning, contacting repeatedly by mail with the intent to harass, or disturbing the peace of the other party;" the section also allows a court to issue similar orders protecting other family and household members from domestic violence, (Family Code §6321--residence exclusion orders; Family Code §6322--"stay-away" orders)).

The filing fee charged for an application made pursuant to the Family Law act is $46.00, but may be waived upon the court’s approval of a fee waiver application.

Civil Injunction Against Harassment:

This type of order restrains a "knowing and wilful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously harms, annoys, or harasses such a person, and which serve no legitimate purpose. It must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress." Typically, these types of orders protect neighbors from other neighbors, co-workers, or other unrelated people. The filing fee is $185 unless the court grants a fee waiver.

Domestic Violence Services

If the perpetrator of domestic violence is incarcerated, a relatively new service will allow the victim to be notified of the release of the perpetrator from jail. The service is known by the acronym, "VINE" ("Victim Information and Notification Every day"). To use the service, call VINE at 1-800-721-8021. To check the status of the inmate, provide the operator with the inmate’s name, date of birth or case (booking) number or court case number. The service will allow the victim to register to be notified of the inmate’s release. A PIN number will be assigned to the victim. Use of the PIN number is the only way to stop VINE from notification telephone calls.

Orange County provides victims of domestic violence with assistance through the Domestic Violence Assistance Program. Call 1-714-935-7956 for information.


Copyright © 1999 Roy A. Barry, all rights reserved.