Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
If you are in danger right now, call 911 or seek safety. Please note that websites you visit may be viewed by someone else later. Always clear your browsing history after searching the web. Consider using a public or friend's computer if you are concerned about someone viewing your browsing history.
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.
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
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.
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.
Alternatively, you can file your forms with the clerks office at the Hall of Justice.
There are no fees for filing these documents.
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.
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.
If you received any of these forms, someone asked for a restraining order against you:
- Notice of Court Hearing (form DV-109)
- Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (form DV-100)
- Temporary Restraining Order (form DV-110)
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.
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