How to Fill Out and File the Restraining Order Forms
Fill out these forms to ask for a restraining order. The forms must be filled out neatly in blue or black ink:
If you have minor children with the person you want protection from, you also MUST fill out:
- Child Custody, Visitation, and Support Request (Form DV-105), and
- Child Custody and Visitation Order (Form DV-140)
If you want child support, you also need to fill out:
*Read Which Financial Form-FL-155 or FL-150? (Form DV-570
) to find out which form is right for you.
Take your completed forms to the nearest courthouse where a judge will review your forms within 24 hours. A court hearing will be scheduled in the next three weeks for the judge to decide if the orders will continue for up to 5 years. You must attend this hearing.
The clerk will instruct you when to return to find out if the judge signed the Temporary Restraining Order. When you pick up your forms, review them carefully to verify any changes the judge may have made. The judge may not grant all of your requests on the temporary order, but you will have an opportunity to address your requests at the scheduled hearing.
The Clerk's Office will keep the original copy of the temporary order and give you 3 certified copies. If you need more copies, you request them from the Clerk's Office or make them yourself.
What to do with your 3 certified copies:
- Keep 1 copy for yourself;
- Have someone serve a copy on the restrained party; and
- Deliver one to your local law enforcement agency
You may wish to make additional copies of your temporary order to be distributed as follows:
- Give a copy to anyone else protected by the order
- Leave copies at the places where the restrained person is ordered not to go (your school, work, etc.)
- Give copies to security officers in your apartment and office buildings
The Court will enter a copy of your order into the CLETS system (California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) which is a special computer system used by law enforcement agencies statewide.
Look at Form DV-109
for the date and time of your court hearing. You must go to your hearing to get an order that can last up to 3 years. The order you have now only lasts for about 3 weeks. Serve the Restraining Order forms
The forms can be served by someone you know, a process server, or the Sheriff.
If you are going to use someone you know, that person must be over 18 and not protected by the restraining order. S/He must personally serve (give) a copy of the restraining order forms to the other party at least 5 days before the court hearing unless otherwise stated on the temporary order signed by the judge (Form DV-110
The server must also give the other party a blank Answer to Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-120
) for them to complete.
A "process server" is a business you pay to deliver court forms such as restraining orders to the other party. You can search the telephone book or Internet for information on process servers to assist you. File your Proof of Service.
The Proof of Service (In Person) (Form DV-200
) shows the judge and police that the restrained person got a copy of the order. Make 3 copies of the completed Proof of Service. Take the original and 2 copies to the Clerk's Office before your hearing. The clerk will keep the original and give you back the copies stamped "Filed." Bring a copy to your hearing.
Keep 1 copy with you and keep another in a safe place in case you need to show it to law enforcement. The restrained person must be served before the hearing. If the restrained person was not served in time, fill out a Reissue Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-115
) to request a new hearing date. Do this before or at your hearing.
If the judge signs this order, the temporary restraining order will last until the new hearing date.
- File the signed Reissue Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-115) with the clerk.
- Attach it to your other court papers and get the restrained person served with all the temporary restraining order papers and the reissuance.
- Bring a copy to your hearing.
After serving the orders, the server completes and signs the Proof of Service (In Person) form and gives it to you. You may file the original and 2 copies of this form at the Clerk's Office prior to your hearing, or you may bring the original Proof of Service document with you to the court hearing.
Please note that the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) expires on your scheduled hearing date. If you do not appear at the hearing or obtain a reissuance from the Court Clerk prior to your hearing, your TRO will automatically expire and you must apply for a new TRO.
Preparing for your hearing Be Prepared:
- Bring all other papers that you have not already filed that support your case
- You may bring a friend or relative for support, but that person must not speak for you in Court. If you are representing yourself, your support person may sit with you, even during a hearing.
- You may bring a witness but the judge may not have time to speak to them. If you bring a written statement of what the witness saw or heard make sure it is written under oath. It is best to file and serve witness statements at the same time as you file your Request for Order (Form DV-100) and Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-110).
- Do not bring your children. For more information on Children's Waiting Rooms at some court locations, please click here.
Do NOT miss your hearing!
If you miss your hearing, you will have to re-start the process from the beginning.
Arrive at the courthouse 30 minutes before your scheduled hearing. This will allow you sufficient time to:
- Find the courtroom.
- If you are afraid of the restrained person, tell the bailiff or court attendant as soon as possible. They can have a deputy walk you to and from your car if you need.
- Observe the other cases so you will know what to do. You may also observe hearings before your court date to learn about the process.
- When your name is called, go to the front of the courtroom.
- Although your hearing may be brief, you should plan to be in the courtroom for as long as four hours.
- Please do not bring children to the courtroom. For information on the Court's Children's Waiting Rooms, please click here.
What's the best way to prepare?
Make a list of the orders you are seeking and practice saying them aloud. If you are nervous at the hearing, read your requests from your prepared list. Use that list to verify if the judge has granted each order you requested.
The judge may ask you questions about your request, please remember:
During the hearing:
- Tell the truth. Speak slowly. You can read from your list.
- The restrained person or his or her lawyer may also ask you questions.
- Do not interrupt the judge or the restrained person,
- Give complete answers.
- If you don't understand, say "I don't understand."
- If you do not agree with what the restrained person says in Court, wait until he or she finishes speaking. Then tell the judge.
- Speak only to the judge unless it is your turn to ask questions.
The judge may "continue" your case. This means that you must return to Court for another hearing regarding this matter. The judge may do this if:
If your case is continued...
What happens after the hearing?
- The judge will determine the orders.
- Important! The Restraining Order After Hearing (Form DV-130) must be prepared and filed by court staff on the day of the court hearing so there is no gap in your protection.
- After the judge makes the orders and court staff prepare them, the judge will sign your Restraining Order After Hearing (Form DV-130). The courtroom clerk will file it and give you copies.
- Your hearing takes longer than planned.
- The judge wants more information about your case.
- One or both parties need time to get a lawyer, or the restrained party needs time to file an answer.
- A reissuance must be prepared indicating the new court date and any interim orders.
- Your orders will last until the new hearing date.
- Bring all your papers back to Court at the next hearing.
- If both parties are present for the hearing, then they should remain in the courtroom until they are given copies of the Restraining Order after Hearing or specific instructions for picking up their copies.
- If the restrained person was served but was not at the hearing and if the judge's orders are the same as the temporary orders, you may ask the judge for permission to serve the restrained person with a copy of the form (Form DV-130) by mail. Ask the server to complete a Proof of Service by Mail (PSM) (Form DV-250) and give it to you.
- If the restrained person was served and was not at the hearing, and the judge's orders are different from the temporary order, you must have someone serve Form DV-130 in person, not by mail. Ask the server to complete a Proof of Service (In Person) (Form DV-200) and give it to you. Remember, you may NEVER serve the orders yourself.
What if I need an interpreter?
What if I have a disability that affects my ability to appear in court?
- If you require the services of an interpreter, you must make your request when you file your papers. You must also let the clerk know if the restrained party requires an interpreter.
- Do not ask a child to interpret for you.
- No one who is listed on your papers can interpret for you.
If you have a disability that you feel affects your ability to appear in court, contact the clerk at the time of filing or at least 1 week before the hearing. For more help, read Persons With Disabilities: Q&A on Rule of Court 989.3.
What about child custody or visitation?
If you need child custody or visitation orders, the judge will send you to speak with a mediator. Mediation helps parents agree on a plan for custody and visitation that is best for the children. Click here to learn more about mediation.
Either parent can ask to meet with the mediator separately. The person requesting the restraining order can bring a support person to mediation. However, your support person is not allowed to participate during the session.