Restraining Order Attorneys Chico
A restraining order is an order of the court that protects someone from being abused, stalked, threatened, or harassed. The law defines what behavior is unacceptable and allows people who have been harmed to apply for legal protection. Restraining orders come in four types: domestic violence, civil harassment, adult dependent or elder abuse, and workplace violence. Protect yourself by hiring a restraining order attorney in Chico, CA. Call our office today and speak to a family law attorney.
Domestic Violence Defined
Domestic violence may take many forms – physical, verbal, or written. Physical forms of abuse include punching, shoving, slapping, and pulling hair, among others. Abuse can take the form of forced or coerced sex, including sexual jokes or insults. Threats of such physical violence can count as domestic violence. Psychological mistreatment can, as well; mistreatment may include things like repeated insults, attacks on self-esteem, or attempts to control another’s behavior. Stalking can also be considered domestic violence. That includes following someone, showing up at their home or place of work, repeatedly calling or leaving messages. Cyberstalking is also included – repeated e-mail or other online action that causes emotional distress. Domestic violence attorneys in Chico can help you.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
A domestic violence restraining order covers people who have been harmed by someone with whom they have a domestic relationship – a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a live-in companion, or a person one used to date, live with, or be married to. It can even be an in-law or relative. Such a restraining order provides civil legal protection from the offender with serious legal consequences for breach of the order.
Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
Civil harassment restraining orders, also known as injunctions prohibiting harassment, cover harassment both by intimates and by people who are not intimates of the harassed. Importantly, one doesn’t need to have a close relationship with the person to seek a civil harassment order against them. They can be a coworker, roommate, neighbor, or even a stranger. Harassment includes violence, threats of violence, or other actions that scare, harass, or annoy someone, done purposefully and without good reason. Speech protected by the Constitution does not qualify.
Dependent Adult / Elder Abuse Restraining Orders
Restraining orders for adult dependent or elder abuse apply primarily to those 65 or older, though they may apply to those aged 18 to 64 if certain disabilities are present. This type of abuse covers physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, or treatment that has otherwise mentally hurt someone over age 65. Such orders are meant to protect elders from abuse at the hands of their family or caretakers.
Workplace Violence Restraining Orders
Employees themselves cannot request workplace violence restraining orders. They must be requested by an employer seeking an order to protect an employee who has suffered violence or a threat of violence in the workplace.
What a Restraining Order Does
A restraining order can impose a range of limitations on the person it restrains. A judge can order that they cease all contact with the person the order protects. That can include his or her family, pets, other relatives, or household members. It can bar a restrained person from purchasing or keeping a firearm; if they already have one, the judge can compel him or her to sell it or turn it over to the police. It may bar a spouse from taking children out of state or out of the county without written consent or a court order. The order can also compel the restrained person to move out of the house, pay child support, pay spousal support, follow child custody and visitation guidelines, among others. The judge can tailor the order to the individual’s circumstances. If the restrained person violates the order, the police can arrest that person and charge him or her with a crime.
Restraining Orders and Time
The first restraining order is typically temporary; these temporary restraining orders cover the time period between when one applies for a restraining order and one’s court date, usually within a few weeks. The person seeking the order will have to go to court, at which time the judge will decide whether to cancel the order or to continue it. At the hearing, it helps to have proof of the abuse, whether it’s the statement of witnesses, photos, police reports, medical records, threatening messages, and so on. The restrained person is allowed to attend the hearing, but will not be allowed to speak to the person seeking the order.
If a judge continues the restraining order, it may last up to 5 years. Only a judge can change or cancel it. After the initial term, the judge may also extend the restraining order for five more years or permanently; no further abuse is necessary to get an extension. If children are involved – as with a domestic abuse restraining order – the restraining order may only apply to them until they turn 18.
Restraining Orders and Divorce
For someone seeking a restraining order against a spouse, it’s important to remember that a restraining order does not dissolve a marriage. Only divorce ends one’s marriage. In divorce proceedings, a domestic violence restraining order may affect custody, spousal support, and the distribution of property, among other things. Judges and mediators consider domestic violence in such proceedings, which may greatly impact the arrangements made for children.
Anyone seeking a restraining order should get professional legal advice. Especially for cases involving domestic violence restraining orders – particularly if children are a factor. A knowledgeable Chico restraining order lawyer can help advise on the most appropriate course of action.
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restraining order attorneys Chico