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Bay Area Family Attorneys > Blog > General > The Evidence You Need for Restraining Orders in California, and other FAQs

The Evidence You Need for Restraining Orders in California, and other FAQs


When you are in a dangerous or threatening situation, emergency services can provide immediate help. There are many resources available, including the resource listed as a source in this article. Pursuing help in a way that keeps you safe is paramount. We will address the evidence you need to successfully petition for a lasting restraining order in California and we will also address a few frequently asked questions pertaining to California restraining orders.

What Evidence is Needed for a Restraining Order

You should not hesitate to file for a restraining order if it is necessary to keep you safe. For a lasting, successful petition for a lasting restraining order, you need to collect as much evidence of the harassment or abuse you are suffering as you can.

For example, the following can be used as evidence toward the need for a restraining order:

  • records of threatening messages – this could be text, e-mail, voicemails, etc. Anything that is recorded.
  • Photos of injuries resulting from physical abuse
  • Phone and/or police records of reporting abuses, to include filed police reports
  • Videos of the actual abuse
  • Statements from witnesses who corroborate your claims

Certain types of restraining orders or protective orders will also require you to prove your relationship with the person you are seeking the order against. For example, to be granted a lasting domestic violence restraining order you will need to establish that you have or had a romantic relationship with the person you are seeking protecting from. For a workplace restraining order, your employer will need to provide evidence that both persons that the order pertains to are employees of that business.

The more relevant evidence that you bring to court to establish the abuses, the easier it will be for the court to grant the requested order.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restraining Orders in California

What Is the Difference Between a Protective Order and a Restraining Order?

You might hear these phrases used interchangeably. While there is often no difference between these specific terms, there are nuances between the types of orders that you can send. Restraining orders include those issued for elder abuse, domestic violence, civil abuse, etc. While each of these is a restraining order, or protective order, each order is different and requires different things to be proven.

Q: Why Would a Restraining Order be Denied in California?

A judge might deny a restraining order for several reasons, such as a lack of sufficient evidence. A court cannot arbitrarily strip someone of a freedom that everyone in America would have – such as the right to walk by a storefront. It is only when it can be established that THIS person walking in front of THIS storefront is actually abusive that the court will have the ability to act.

Q: Is my “No Contact” Order the Same as a Restraining Order?

A California no-contact order is not the same as a restraining order. A no-contact order will prohibit someone from contacting you. An experienced California family law attorney can help you to best understand various paths you might take moving forward.

Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young

Everyone deserves to feel safe and unthreatened. Emergency services and support are available when you are in imminent need. For legal help, and steps you can take moving forward, contact the experienced San Francisco domestic violence lawyers at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young.




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