If you are the victim of physical or sexual abuse, stalking, harassment or some other type of threatening behavior, you may wish to obtain a restraining order. A restraining order can protect you against these behaviors and, in the process, safeguard your physical and mental well-being.
Not all restraining orders are created equal, though. The California courts recognize four types of restraining orders, each of which offers select protections. That said, according to the Judicial Branch of California, general restraining orders typically include stay-away orders, personal conduct orders and resident exclusion orders.
Stay-away orders typically mandate that the restrained person maintain a certain distance from the protected person and/or certain places that the protected person visits. Those places may include but are not limited to the following:
- The protected person’s residence
- The protected person’s place of work
- The protected person’s vehicle
- The school or child care facilities the protect person’s children attend
- Other important places the protected person frequents
That stay-away distance is typically between 50 and 100 yards, though it could be greater.
Personal conduct orders
Personal conduct orders prohibit a restrained person from acting in certain ways toward the protected person, or from engaging in certain activities intended to engage the protected person. Though the prohibited actions vary from situation to situation, they may include stalking, contacting via any means (such as phone, email or text message), threatening, harassing, destruction of personal property, striking, attacking or sexually assaulting. Some orders simply prohibit the restrained persons from “disturbing the peace” of protected persons.
Resident exclusion orders
Resident exclusion orders typically only apply in cases involving domestic violence or elder or dependent adult abuse. Otherwise known as “kick-out” or “move-out” orders, these orders require restrained persons to move out of the place where the protected person lives and to take only personal belongings and clothing. The restrained person typically cannot get back into the residence until after the hearing takes place.
A protection order may be just what you need to protect yourself and your loved ones during a hard time in your family life. For full protection, however, make sure you obtain the right order and that it contains language appropriate to your situation.