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Domestic violence is a significant problem. According to data cited by the Central California Family Crisis Center, reports that approximately 23% of women and 14% of men have endured severe domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner. California law provides strong legal protections to victims of abuse. Among other things, they can seek a restraining order. 

That being said, not every petition for a restraining order is justified—and a court may enter a restraining order in error. This raises an important question: Can you appeal a restraining order in California? The answer is ‘yes’—but you must be proactive. Here, our family appellate law attorney provides an overview of appealing a restraining order in California.

What is a Restraining Order (Protective Order)?

The Judicial Branch of California explains that a restraining order is a “court order that can protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed.” It is issued by a judge and legally prohibits the person named in the order, known as the respondent, from contacting or coming near the person who requested the order, known as the petitioner. The restraining order can also include other conditions, such as requiring the respondent to move out of a shared residence or surrender firearms.

You Have the Right to Appeal a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in California 

Was a domestic violence restraining order entered against you in California? You are not out of options. You have the right to appeal the decision. In effect, an appeal means that you can request a higher court to review the case and make a new decision. The appellate law process can be complex, and it is important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the laws and procedures.

An Overview of the Restraining Orders and the Appeals Process in California

A domestic violence restraining order being entered against you can be stressful, confusing, and frustrating—especially if you know that your conduct does not justify the order. Here are some of the key things you know about domestic violence restraining orders and the appeals process in California: 

  • A Temporary Restraining Order is Often Issued First: In a domestic violence case in California, a temporary restraining order (TRO) may be issued first by a judge. Indeed, this is what often happens. A TRO is a short-term order that is put in place before a full hearing can be held. It is intended to provide immediate protection for the person who is requesting the order. If a temporary order was entered, you should be prepared for the full hearing. This comes before an appeal.  
  • Time to File an Appeal (60 Days): Once a full restraining order is put in place, you have 60 days to file a Notice of Appeal in California. If you wait too long to take action, you will lose your opportunity to challenge the order. To be clear, the order will remain in place while your appeal is pending. You cannot violate its terms.  
  • You Must Raise Valid Grounds for an Appeal: As with other types of appeals, an appeal of a family law domestic violence restraining order is not a re-trial. It is not a fresh opportunity to raise your case. In filing an appeal, you must cite valid grounds. In effect, you need to argue that the trial court made a material legal or procedural error when putting the order in place. For example, you could potentially raise a successful appeal on the grounds that the judge refuses to hear valid evidence that supports your innocence of the allegations. 

You do not have to navigate the entire process alone. A family appellate lawyer can provide valuable assistance when appealing a domestic violence restraining order in California. The appeal process can be complex, and an appellate lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that your rights are protected each and every step of the way. 

Get Help From a Family Appellate Lawyer in California

At The Appellate Law Firm, our California family appellate law attorneys are committed to protecting the rights and interests of our clients. If you have any questions about appealing a restraining order, we can help. Contact us today for a fully confidential initial consultation. We provide appellate law services throughout California, including Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, Stockton, and Fresno.

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Do you or a loved one have a trial case that you wish to appeal? If so, call the office or contact us at The Appellate Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation of your case and learn more about how to increase your chances of success with your appellate case.

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