How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Los Angeles. A Complete Step-By-Step Legal Guide

In Los Angeles, a restraining order is a legal document issued by a court to protect individuals from abuse or harassment.

How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Los Angeles?
How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Los Angeles?
Types of Restraining Orders

It can prohibit a person from making contact or coming near the protected individual.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to obtain a restraining order in Los Angeles, along with frequently asked questions to assist you through the process.

Understanding Restraining Orders

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, can include personal conduct orders, stay-away orders, and residence exclusion orders.

These orders are designed to protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed.

Types of Restraining Orders

In Los Angeles, there are several types of restraining orders that individuals can apply for, depending on their situation. Here’s a detailed look at each type:

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

This order is available if you’ve been abused and have a close relationship with the abuser, such as a spouse, former spouse, someone you dated or are dating, live with, or have a child with.

Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order

If you are 65 years or older, or a dependent adult who has been abused, you can seek this restraining order. It’s also applicable if you’re being abused by someone who has care or custody of you.

Civil Harassment Restraining Order

This order can be used if you need protection from someone you do not have a close relationship with, like a neighbor, roommate, coworker, or more distant family members.

Workplace Violence Restraining Order

Employers can request this order to protect an employee who is experiencing violence, stalking, or harassment at their place of work.

Each type of restraining order serves to protect individuals from different forms of abuse, threats, and harassment.

The process for obtaining these orders involves filling out specific forms, filing them with the court, and often attending a court hearing.

It’s important to choose the correct type of restraining order for your situation to ensure that you receive the appropriate protection.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Restraining Order

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Restraining Order

Step 1: Fill Out the Necessary Forms

You’ll need to complete the appropriate forms, which are available at the courthouse or online.

Each form comes with instructions for proper completion.

Step 2: Review Your Forms

Have your forms reviewed by a legal professional or a court clerk to ensure they are filled out correctly2.

Step 3: File Your Forms

Submit your completed forms to the clerk of the court.

There may be no fee for filing a restraining order.

Step 4: Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

After filing, you may receive a TRO, which provides immediate protection until your court hearing.

Step 5: Service of Process

The restrained person must be served with a copy of the TRO.

Anyone over 18, except you, can serve the order.

Step 6: Court Hearing

Attend the court hearing to obtain a long-term restraining order, which can last up to three years.

How quickly can I get a restraining order?

The speed at which you can obtain a restraining order in Los Angeles depends on the urgency of the situation. Here’s a breakdown of the process:

1.Emergency Protection Orders (EPO)

These can be issued immediately by law enforcement if there’s an imminent and present threat of domestic violence. EPOs are valid for only 5 court days.

2.Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)

The court tries to grant TRO requests the same or next day after the application is submitted. A TRO provides immediate protection until the court hearing.

3.Permanent Restraining Orders

After the TRO, you must attend a court hearing, which is usually scheduled within three weeks. If the judge grants a permanent restraining order, it can last up to three years.

It’s important to note that the process may vary slightly depending on the specifics of your case and the court’s schedule.

What happens if the restraining order is violated?

Violating a restraining order in Los Angeles is considered a serious offense. If someone violates a court-issued protective, restraining, or stay-away order, they could face criminal charges. Here are the potential consequences:

Misdemeanor Charges

The violation can be charged as a misdemeanor under Penal Code § 273.6 PC. This could result in probation, up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000.

Felony Charges

If it’s a second offense or if the violation involves an act of violence, the charge can be elevated to a felony. This could lead to up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Additionally, even if the protected individual consents to contact, it does not excuse the violation of the order.

The law requires strict adherence to the terms set by the court. It’s important for both the protected and restrained individuals to understand the terms of the order and comply with them to avoid these legal consequences.

Can I obtain a restraining order without a lawyer?

Yes, you can obtain a restraining order in Los Angeles without a lawyer. The process is designed to be accessible for individuals representing themselves. Here’s what you need to know:


You have the right to file for a restraining order on your own behalf without legal representation⁸.

Court Assistance

The Los Angeles court system provides self-help services to assist you with the necessary forms and to guide you through the process.

Legal Aid

There are also legal aid organizations that offer free assistance to those who cannot afford a lawyer⁸.

It’s important to carefully follow all the instructions provided by t


Obtaining a restraining order in Los Angeles is a critical step towards ensuring your safety and well-being.

By following the outlined steps and understanding the types of restraining orders available, you can navigate the legal process with confidence.

Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources available to help you through this challenging time.

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