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Rule Number One: If you or your children are in danger from domestic violence, call 911 at the first safe opportunity.
Once the immediate danger has passed, consider seeking a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) to protect yourself and your children.
When a request for a restraining order is sought, the court’s duty is to : 1) Prevent future domestic violence; 2) Prevent the reoccurrence of domestic violence by separation of the persons involved and 3) Facilitate a strategy to address the issues underlying domestic violence.
Under the Family Law Code, to obtain a TRO and/or ultimately a Restraining Order after a hearing, your request must meet certain threshold requirements known as “proof of a qualifying relationship.” The person against whom you are seeking a restraining order must be either a spouse or a former spouse, a domestic partner or other person in an existing or past dating relationship.
The definition of what actions constitute domestic abuse is found in Cal. Fam. Code section 6200 which includes the following:
a) molesting, b) attacking, c) striking d) stalking, e) threatening, f) sexually assaulting, g) battering, h) credibly impersonating, i) falsely personating, j) harassing, k) telephoning, including, but not limited to, making annoying telephone calls, l) destroying personal property, m) contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, n) 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.
Under the Cal. Fam. Code section 6200, (b) abuse it is neither limited to above list (a-n) nor is it limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault. It may also include emotional and psychological damage as recognizable forms of injury caused by the perpetrator to the victim and any children present. Witnessing abuse qualifies for protection under Fam. Code section 6211
The definition of abuse has expanded rapidly over time, especially with the use of email and social media platforms. On one hand, these platforms can provide an essential means of keeping in touch with friends, family and making new and meaningful connections with the wider community. On the other hand, they can be used as a means of abuse or other punishable crimes outside of the family court arena.
Do not hesitate to call the Law office of Denise E. Oxley Esq. to calendar a consultation. We are ready to assist you.