How Long Do Domestic Violence Orders Last?


Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO), unfortunately, can be very confusing, especially in the area of duration. What needs to be understood from the outset is that there are basically three different types of orders. The first order, which is given by law enforcement, is generally called an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). This is given by the law enforcement who, after responding to a domestic violence call, believes that domestic violence has occurred but for whatever reason, the perpetrator is not present. This order gives the victim some protection and usually lasts 5 days, but they must go to court within that period of time to seek a more permanent, yet still temporary, restraining order. The second type of DVRO is called a Temporary Domestic Violence Restraining Order (TRO). The TRO is issued after an initial hearing, whether or not the hearing is requested pursuant to an EPO, wherein there has been a showing that domestic violence has occurred. The TRO is valid for 21 days or, if good cause appears to the court, 25 days from the date a temporary order is granted. The third type of order is the more permanent (yet still not entirely permanent) restraining order. After a full hearing on a restraining order and the request for order is granted, whether or not the TRO was granted, the court can issue a restraining order under Family Code, §6345, for up to 5 years. In addition, prior to the expiration of the 5 years, the order may be renewed upon the request of a party, either for five years or permanently. Further, the order can be renewed without a showing of any further abuse since the issuance of the original order. However, the request for renewal on the restraining order may be brought at any time within the three months before the expiration of the initial order.


The bottom line is, there are several periods of time that a restraining order can last. This can be a very confusing area, especially to someone who just wants to have some assurance of safety and freedom from abuse.

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