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Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

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Overview

There are different types of restraining orders. A domestic violence restraining order is against someone you've dated or had an intimate relationship with, including a spouse or domestic partner. It can also be against a relative if they are your child, parent, sibling or grandparent. This includes in-laws.

A domestic violence restraining order can be granted against someone who has abused you or your children. Abuse can be emotional or physical. It can happen anywhere, including online. Abuse can happen in different ways, including someone stopping you from accessing money or basic needs, or isolating you from friends or family.

Requesting a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Requesting a restraining order can be an overwhelming process, but there are resources to help. Additional information and the steps required for filing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order can be found on the California Courts' Self-Help page Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California.

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Online Submission Process

The Court provides the ability to submit your domestic violence and gun violence restraining order documents online.

  • Prepare Your Documents

    In partnership with the Judicial Council of California and LawHelp Interactive, we are pleased to provide self-represented litigants a program that will help you fill out the forms necessary to get a domestic violence restraining order. This program will help you fill out the forms necessary by asking you a series of questions in an interview format. It does not file your forms for you. Once complete, you must save the forms that are generated and return to this site to submit them electronically. You can also print them out, take them to the courthouse, and file with the clerk. 

    Depending upon your situation, it may take you from 15 minutes to 2 hours to answer all the questions. If you have children and are asking for child or spousal support and want to fill out the Income & Expense Declaration online, the process will take you in the range of 2 hours. If you create an account, you can save your progress and come back to it at any time. We strongly recommend that you create an account before you begin but an account is NOT REQUIRED to use the program.

    Please note that the system will time you out at 2 hours, possibly without a warning. If you have created an account, your answers will be saved. However, if you did not create an account, then you will have to re-do your work.

    Get Started - DVRO Petition with Notice
    Notice: When you click Get started, you will be leaving the court's website and going to LawHelp Interactive, a partner website. You will be subject to the terms and conditions and the privacy policy of the LHI website, available here.


    Alternatively, you can complete the required forms without the assistance of the program. For additional information, including the required forms, steps to take for specific scenarios (child custody, parenting time, child support, and spousal support), requirements for service, and more; visit the California Courts' Self-Help Guide page Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California. After reviewing the information provided on the first screen, scroll to the bottom, and click the box Ask for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order to proceed. 

    Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

  • Online Submission System

    Once you have prepared all the necessary documents and have them saved to your device, you can proceed to the Domestic Violence & Gun Violence Restraining Order Online Submission System to upload your documents and submit them to the court for processing.

    Domestic Violence & Gun Violence Restraining Order Online Submission System


    Alternatively, you can file your forms with the clerk's office at the Hall of Justice.

    There are no fees for filing these documents.

  • After Submission

    After you file your forms with the court, a judge will review your court papers to decide whether to grant temporary protection, if you asked for it. After the judge decides, you'll need to pick up the papers from the court. After you get your papers back, be sure to look at them to see what the judge ordered.

    You must have someone give a copy of your court papers to the other person you want a restraining order against (the other side in your case). This is called serving court papers. The Sheriff's Office will serve your court papers for free. Contact the Sheriff's Office at (530) 251-8014 or visit the Civil page of the Sheriff's Office website for additional information. If you don't want the sheriff to serve your court papers, you can hire a process server or ask someone you know to be your server. If you want someone you know to serve your papers, they must be:

    • 18 or over, and
    • not part of your case

    You can't serve your papers yourself. Think about safety when choosing your server.

    Find additional information on serving the other side, going to court, finishing your case, and more on the California Courts' Self-Help Guide. See the Restraining Order Process for Domestic Violence Cases page.

    Restraining Order Process for Domestic Violence Cases


    You may appear remotely at your court hearing. To view additional information and for the Zoom connection details, see the Domestic Violence & Gun Violence Restraining Order Petitions section of the Zoom Appearance page.

Respond to Domestic Violence Restraining Order

If you received any of these forms, someone asked for a restraining order against you:

A restraining order would limit your contact with the person asking for a restraining order. If you and the other side have a child together, the restraining order can include orders for child support and custody. If you're married, it can include orders for spousal support. A restraining order could impact your life in other ways, including preventing you from having guns and ammunition.

You have a court date where a judge will decide if they will grant the restraining order, which can last up to 5 years.

You may be required to complete forms or take certain actions as a result of these orders. For additional information, view the California Courts' Self-Help Guide page Respond to Restraining Order papers.

Respond to Restraining Order papers


Self-represented litigants may utilize LawHelp Interactive, a program that will help you fill out the forms necessary for responding to a restraining order. This program was developed in partnership with the Judicial Council of California and LawHelp Interactive. It will help you fill out the necessary forms by asking you questions in an interview format. It does not file your forms with the court. Once complete, you must save the forms that are generated and return to this site to submit them electronically. You can also print them out, take them to the courthouse, and file with the clerk.

Get Started - DVRO Response
Notice: When you click Get started, you will be leaving the court's website and going to LawHelp Interactive, a partner website. You will be subject to the terms and conditions and the privacy policy of the LHI website, available here.

Domestic Violence & Gun Violence Restraining Order Online Submission System

Safe at Home (Secretary of State)

Safe at Home is a confidential address program administered by the California Secretary of State's office and is most effective when used as a part of an overall safety plan. Safe at Home offers victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, human trafficking & elder and dependent abuse, as well as reproductive health care workers, a substitute mailing address to receive first class, certified, and registered mail. This address is also accepted by California state, county, and city government agencies in lieu of a residential or other mailing address where a victim can be tracked down, keeping the residence address confidential and out of the hands of someone who might want to harm the victim.

Call the toll-free number at (877) 322-5227 if you have any questions about their services.

www.sos.ca.gov/registries/safe-home

External Agencies & Local Resources

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