In San Diego, an individual may request a restraining order, also referred to as an injunction, if the individual is the victim of domestic violence, feels threatened or harassed, or is being stalked. If the court is convinced that an injunction is needed, a temporary restraining order will be issued pending a hearing on the matter. If you have been served with a temporary restraining order you cannot own a firearm while the injunction order is in place.
A restraining order is one of the rare orders that a judge can issue without allowing both parties to present evidence and testimony first. Referred to as an “ex parte” order, this type of injunction is typically issued based solely on the accusations of the Petitioner, or individual requesting the order. In California, there are four different types of restraining orders that can be sought by an individual. They are:
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order
- Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order
- Workplace Violence Restraining Order
The type of order an individual requests will depend on the relationship between the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator. The process, however, is essentially the same for all types of restraining orders. The Petitioner fills out the required paperwork stating why an injunction should be issued and submits the documents to the appropriate court. A Judge then reviews the request and either approves or denies the request. If the request is approved, a temporary restraining order is issued. The temporary order remains in effect until the court date set by the court at which time the Respondent has the opportunity to answer the allegations made by the Petitioner and try to convince the judge that a permanent restraining order isn’t warranted.
While the temporary order is in effect, however, it is crucial that the Respondent obey the terms of the order. Many of the terms of a restraining order can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation; however, all restraining orders include a provision that prevents the Respondent from owning a firearm. Moreover, if you currently own any firearms they must be sold to a licensed dealer or turned into a law enforcement agency within 24 hours of being served with the restraining order.
If you have been served with a temporary restraining order in San Diego you do have the right to contest the order at the scheduled hearing. In the meantime though, it is imperative that you not violate the terms of the temporary order. Consult with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney for additional advice and to discuss the upcoming hearing.