If you feel unsafe or threatened by someone in your life, filing a restraining order may be the right path for you. A restraining order is an official document that requires someone to stay away from you and/or certain locations. This can be beneficial if you are facing harassment, intimidation, stalking, or threats of physical harm. Knowing how to file a restraining order in San Bernardino County can help protect your safety and well-being. Read on to find out what steps to take to accomplish this without any additional headaches.
Types of Restraining Orders Available in San Bernardino County
When in need of a restraining order, it can be difficult to know what you specifically need to protect yourself. Restraining orders come in many forms for specific situations. Your individual experience will determine which type of restraining order you should seek. Here are the types of restraining orders you have available to you in San Bernardino County.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is for people who have or have had a married or dating relationship or are closely related such as a parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, or in-law. You may be divorced, separated, a registered domestic partner, dating or used to date, live together, or used to live together. The person seeking protection must have experienced actual physical violence or a credible threat of physical violence. There is No Filing Fee to apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. You can download the forms that you will need to file for your restraining order here https://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order is appropriate if there is not a romantic or close family relationship between the parties. Common examples of the types of restraining orders are neighbor vs. neighbor, stranger vs. stranger, and distant relative vs. distant relative. The conduct that these orders try to prevent can range from annoying behaviors to physical abuse. Civil Harassment Orders can be made to stop a variety of behaviors, from repetitive phone calling to stalking.
How to File a Restraining Order in San Bernardino County?
Filing a restraining order is not as difficult as one might think. Here are four easy steps to filing a restraining order.
Step One: Fill out your court forms
The three main forms you will need are:
- Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (Form DV-100)
- Notice of Court Hearing (Form DV-109)
- Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-110)
Please be aware that these forms will go to the restrained person in your case and he/she will get a chance to see everything you write. You can keep your address confidential to protect yourself from your abuser with a program called “Safe at Home” which gives a secure address to use for your court papers.
Step Two: File the forms with the court
Take your forms to the court clerk and they will give them to the judge. A judge has two business days to decide whether to grant your request for protection. If the judge grants your request, you will get a temporary restraining order for up to three weeks, or until your hearing in court.
Look over all the paperwork the clerk returns to you to see:
- If the judge signed the Temporary Restraining Order (Form DV-110)
- If the judge made any changes to the orders you asked for in your request
- If the clerk has sent a copy of your restraining order to your local police department
- When your court hearing is on the Notice of Court Hearing (Form DV-109).
*Remember, the day of the court hearing is also the date your temporary order runs out. If you want to extend it, you must go to your hearing to get a permanent order.
Once the judge issues your temporary restraining order, you need to serve the abuser.
The restraining order is not valid until the abuser has been served, which means that someone must personally hand the papers to the abuser so that he or she knows about the hearing.
Make sure you note your deadline to serve papers so that you give the abuser the order before this date. To determine the deadline in your case, first look at your court date on page 1 of Form DV-109. Then, look at the number of days written in Item 5 on page 2 of the same form. Subtract this number of days from the court date and this is your deadline for service.
- Your local police department may be able to serve your restraining order papers.
- You can also pay for a “process server” to deliver the forms.
Step Four: Attend your hearing.
The right preparation will give you confidence, security, and ease of mind. Make sure you don’t miss your hearing. If you do, the restraining order will end and you will have to start from the beginning. If your abuser comes to court and you are afraid, tell the court officer and you will be protected. Be sure to get to the courtroom early, make a list of what orders you want, speak slowly, and tell the truth.
Helpful Resources and Support for Individuals
The first step is admitting that there is a problem. If you are being abused, it is not your fault and you are not alone. Many people and organizations want to help you. The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24/7 support for individuals affected by domestic violence. You can reach them at 1-800-799-7233 or chat with them online at https://www.thehotline.org/.
San Bernardino County also has a Domestic Violence Prevention program. Their website provides resources and information about the signs of abuse, what to do if you are a victim of abuse, how to get help, and how to get involved in prevention efforts. You can visit their website at http://wp.sbcounty.gov/dbh/services/prevention/domestic-violence/.
If you need immediate assistance, there are also many shelters available in the San Bernardino area. The Inland Valley Hope Partners runs Dorothy’s House Domestic Violence Shelter. Their website provides information about their services as well as how to get help if you are in an abusive situation. You can visit their website at https://www.inlandvalleyhopepartners.org/dorothys-house/.
There are also many other shelters available in the area including
- YWCA Women’s Shelter of San Bernardino http://www.ywcasb.org/
- Shelter from the Storm http://shelterfromthestormincorporated.com/
- A Better Way Counseling Services http://abetterwaycounselingservicesincorporated.com/
Filing for a restraining order in San Bernardino County can help protect individuals from potential threats of violence or harm from another individual or group of people. The process involves completing forms issued by court clerks at any Superior Court location with detailed information about why you feel threatened as well as providing evidence that supports your claim.
Taking the time upfront to understand how to file for a restraining order in San Bernardino properly can save time and stress down the line while helping ensure that justice is served in San Bernardino County courts.
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