You can obtain a domestic violence restraining order without actual physical abuse

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Do you need to obtain a domestic violence restraining order against your ex-partner, former spouse or someone you used to date? Do you have questions as to whether the conduct of that person rises to a level that will satisfy the standard for a restraining order?

In California, Family Law Codes sections 6320 and 6203 set out the requirements for a domestic violence restraining order.  Specifically, section 6203 provides:

  1. (a) For purposes of this act, “abuse” means any of the following:

   (1) Intentionally or recklessly to 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.

This means that you can seek a restraining order if you have been “abused.” “Abuse” is not limited to actual infliction of physical injury or assault but includes acts that are sexual assault in nature, or intended to cause the victim bodily injury or fear of imminent bodily injury, as well as acts that are listed in section 6320.

Section 6320 stated that:

The court may issue an ex parte order enjoining a party from molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, annoying telephone calls as described in Section 653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and, in the discretion of the court, on a showing of good cause, of other named family or household members.

Section 6320 expanded the definition of “abuse” to include actions that can be interpreted as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting (either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise) coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party. 

In a recent decision (Burquet v. Brumbaugh), the court found that the Respondent disturbed the Plaintiff’s peace and thus granted the Plaintiff’s request for restraining order.   The court noted that the Respondent was “engaging in a course of conduct of contactingplaintiff by phone, email, and text, which messages contained inappropriate sexual innuendos, and arriving at her residence unannounced and uninvited, and then refusing to leave and making a scene, when she refused to see him for the purpose of causing her to renew their romantic relationship.” The court found that these actions disturbed the peace of the other party and constituted an act of “abuse” under the Family Law Codes.

 

In conclusion, it is not a physical act of violence that qualifies as an act of “abuse”.  You do not need to wait to suffer bodily harm before seeking a restraining order.  “Abuse” can be a variety of actions, including those that disturb your peace.  For more information on how to obtain a restraining order, please contact our office at (310) 212-7109 for a free telephonic consultation.  We have helped numerous individual obtain or defend against a restraining order request.

We are Southbay premier family law firm and we can help you with your case.  Please direct all inquiries to our office at (310) 212-7109.

Disclaimer: Regal Law & Mediation, APC and their attorney do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of any information provided herein. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal help specific to their case.

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