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How easy is it to get a domestic violence restraining order in California

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Firm News

With much of the internet and television ablaze with the Johnny depp and Amber Heard drama over defamation and whether domestic violence was committed by Johnny Depp upon Amber Heard.  In California it is fairly easy to walk down to any Courthouse and file a Domestic violence restraining order against a spouse or partner if you deem it appropriate to do so.

There are very legitimate cases where abuse is apparent and an immediate restraining must be issue by the Court to protect the safety of a party and or their children. Usually in these cases the Court will without any resistance grant the order.

However, there are other cases where people I have seen in many cases use the domestic violence restraining order as a sword and get and order on very little evidence against their partner. To determine what is the difference between falsely using the DVRO we must look at the facts of each case.

I think based on my experience when people use the DVRO as a sword they often come to court and seem to be the aggressor in the matter.  They tend to be demanding that the order be granted or Ill die.  When one looks at the evidence presented you will find little if any physical evidence of abuse by the petitioner just testimony that she/he is afraid for their life.  Often it occurs when child custody is an issue.  One party will try to get full custody of the children by going to court.  This has happened a lot since the OJ Simpson case back in the 1990’s in California.

Thus for the past 20 plus years California has rubberstamped domestic violence restraining orders just based on testimony alone.  They must show that more likely than not the abuse was committed upon them.

Thus in California the standard is low to get a restraining order against the other party. That is why Amber heard went to court by herself and got a DVRO without much opposition because the Judges usually grant them without much thought.