Three Very Important Things to Remember for Your Restraining Order Hearing
1. A respondent must be served with the restraining order documents.
The first thing that a petitioner must do after filing the appropriate paperwork with the courthouse is arrange to have the respondent served. Service means that the respondent has been provided a copy of all the documents that have been filed with the court. The reason a respondent needs to be served before the hearing is because the respondent has a right to know what the petitioner is alleging and when he/she must be in court. Absent some exception, service must be accomplished personally by someone over the age of 18 years of age who is not a party to the action. Thus, the petitioner cannot be the person to serve the respondent; it has to be someone other than the person filing the restraining order. If the petitioner has not served the respondent, then the respondent has no obligation to appear at the hearing.
2. A respondent is always entitled to one continuance.
If the respondent is properly served, then the respondent is required to appear at the hearing. If the respondent fails to appear at the hearing, then the hearing can be held in their absence. The respondent, however, may appear at the hearing and request a continuance. A respondent is always entitled to continue the first appearance. When the court grants a continuance, it will reschedule the restraining order hearing for a few weeks down the road. The reason a respondent will want to request a continuance is to allow time for the respondent to prepare their case or hire an experienced attorney to handle the matter for them.
3. Focus on the issues at hand.
There are several types of restraining orders that a petitioner can file against a respondent. For example, there are domestic violence restraining orders, civil harassment restraining orders, or elder abuse restraining orders. Each restraining order has requirements that the petitioner must demonstrate to the court to qualify for protection. A court cannot issue a restraining order unless all of the requisite requirements are proven. So, when preparing their case for trial, a petitioner will want to make sure that they focus on proving and demonstrating the existence of all the requirements. On the other hand, a respondent may want to prepare their defense by demonstrating or focusing on disproving one of the requirements of the restraining order. For example, when requesting a domestic violence restraining order, the petitioner must show that the petitioner and respondent have a close relationship. If the petitioner cannot prove that the two shared a close relationship, then the court has no option but to dismiss the action.
Contact a Wallin & Klarich Restraining Order Attorney Today
If you have been served with a restraining order, our experienced restraining order lawyers at Wallin & Klarich are here. Our lawyers have more than 40 years of experience successfully representing clients in restraining order matters.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles, and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich restraining order lawyer available near you. Call our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 831-5293 for a free phone consultation regarding your matter. We will be there when you call.