A “DVRO” or “Domestic Violence Restraining Order” is a court order, lasting anywhere from a few months to five years, which is granted against and individual for the follow act of “abuse” which is defined as the following:
(1) To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
(2) Sexual assault.
(3) To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
(4) To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320.
(b) Abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault.
Take a look at that closely. Section (b) makes it clear that someone does not need to physically attack you for it to be abuse. Clients are often surprised to know that things that they think are not “abuse” are in fact abuse under this definition. Blocking the movement of someone, sending too many text messages, following them, punching holes in the walls of an apartment, destroying belongings, disturbing their peace, and things such as that. The act may not even be directed at that person but at a relative or friend of that person. It is still sufficient to get you a DVRO.
The TRO (“Temporary Restraining Order”) and DVRO usually has many of these requirements:
- Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you;
- Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools;
- Move out of your house (even if you live together);
- Not have a gun;
- Follow child custody and visitation orders;
- Pay child support;
- Pay spousal or partner support (if you are married or domestic partners);
- Stay away from any of your pets;
- Transfer the rights to a cell phone number and account to the protected person (read more);
- Pay certain bills;
- Not make any changes to insurance policies;
- Not incur large expenses or do anything significant to affect your or the other person’s property if you are married or domestic partners;
- Release or return certain property; and
- Complete a 52-week batterer intervention program.
The order will appear on a form called the “DV110” which you MUST read very carefully. If you do not obey this order, it will constitute a crime and you can be arrested and charged.
As one example of how people get in trouble, your accuser may call you on the phone. If you respond to their phone call and talk with them, you have violated the RO. If they invite you over and you go to their house, you have violated the RO. You might be thinking that is not fair. It doesn’t matter. As a general rule, stay away from your accuser. Do not call them, do not text them, do not have someone else call them or text them. Third party contact, as this is known, is a violation of the RO. THIS is often how people end up with a DVRO.
While they might have otherwise not had it granted by the court, the acts taken after the TRO is granted often leads to the DVRO.