Chapter 1. General Provisions of California Family Law Code >> Division 10. >> Part 4. >> Chapter 1.
An order may be issued under this part, with or without
notice, to restrain any person for the purpose specified in Section
6220, if an affidavit or testimony and any additional information
provided to the court pursuant to Section 6306, shows, to the
satisfaction of the court, reasonable proof of a past act or acts of
abuse. The court may issue an order under this part based solely on
the affidavit or testimony of the person requesting the restraining
(a) An order under this part may be granted to any person
described in Section 6211, including a minor pursuant to subdivision
(b) of Section 372 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(b) The right to petition for relief shall not be denied because
the petitioner has vacated the household to avoid abuse, and in the
case of a marital relationship, notwithstanding that a petition for
dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal
separation of the parties has not been filed.
(c) The length of time since the most recent act of abuse is not,
by itself, determinative. The court shall consider the totality of
the circumstances in determining whether to grant or deny a petition
A notice of hearing under this part shall notify the
respondent that if he or she does not attend the hearing, the court
may make orders against him or her that could last up to five years.
(a) It is the function of a support person to provide moral
and emotional support for a person who alleges he or she is a victim
of domestic violence. The person who alleges that he or she is a
victim of domestic violence may select any individual to act as a
support person. No certification, training, or other special
qualification is required for an individual to act as a support
person. The support person shall assist the person in feeling more
confident that he or she will not be injured or threatened by the
other party during the proceedings where the person and the other
party must be present in close proximity. The support person is not
present as a legal adviser and shall not give legal advice.
(b) A support person shall be permitted to accompany either party
to any proceeding to obtain a protective order, as defined in Section
6218. Where the party is not represented by an attorney, the support
person may sit with the party at the table that is generally
reserved for the party and the party's attorney.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if
a court has issued a protective order, a support person shall be
permitted to accompany a party protected by the order during any
mediation orientation or mediation session, including separate
mediation sessions, held pursuant to a proceeding described in
Section 3021. Family Court Services, and any agency charged with
providing family court services, shall advise the party protected by
the order of the right to have a support person during mediation. A
mediator may exclude a support person from a mediation session if the
support person participates in the mediation session, or acts as an
advocate, or the presence of a particular support person is
disruptive or disrupts the process of mediation. The presence of the
support person does not waive the confidentiality of the mediation,
and the support person is bound by the confidentiality of the
(d) In a proceeding subject to this section, a support person
shall be permitted to accompany a party in court where there are
allegations or threats of domestic violence and, where the party is
not represented by an attorney, may sit with the party at the table
that is generally reserved for the party and the party's attorney.
(e) Nothing in this section precludes a court from exercising its
discretion to remove a person from the courtroom when it would be in
the interest of justice to do so, or when the court believes the
person is prompting, swaying, or influencing the party protected by
When making a protective order, as defined in Section 6218,
where both parties are present in court, the court shall inform both
the petitioner and the respondent of the terms of the order,
including notice that the respondent is prohibited from owning,
possessing, purchasing or receiving or attempting to own, possess,
purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition, and including notice of
the penalty for violation.
(a) The court shall not issue a mutual order enjoining the
parties from specific acts of abuse described in Section 6320 unless
both of the following apply:
(1) Both parties personally appear and each party presents written
evidence of abuse or domestic violence in an application for relief
using a mandatory Judicial Council restraining order application
form. For purposes of this paragraph, written evidence of abuse or
domestic violence in a responsive pleading does not satisfy the party'
s obligation to present written evidence of abuse or domestic
violence. By July 1, 2016, the Judicial Council shall modify forms as
necessary to provide notice of this information.
(2) The court makes detailed findings of fact indicating that both
parties acted as a primary aggressor and that neither party acted
primarily in self-defense.
(b) For purposes of subdivision (a), in determining if both
parties acted primarily as aggressors, the court shall consider the
provisions concerning dominant aggressors set forth in paragraph (3)
of subdivision (c) of Section 836 of the Penal Code.
(a) Prior to a hearing on the issuance or denial of an order
under this part, the court shall ensure that a search is or has been
conducted to determine if the subject of the proposed order has any
prior criminal conviction for a violent felony specified in Section
667.5 of the Penal Code or a serious felony specified in Section
1192.7 of the Penal Code; has any misdemeanor conviction involving
domestic violence, weapons, or other violence; has any outstanding
warrant; is currently on parole or probation; has a registered
firearm; or has any prior restraining order or any violation of a
prior restraining order. The search shall be conducted of all records
and databases readily available and reasonably accessible to the
court, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The California Sex and Arson Registry (CSAR).
(2) The Supervised Release File.
(3) State summary criminal history information maintained by the
Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11105 of the Penal Code.
(4) The Federal Bureau of Investigation's nationwide database.
(5) Locally maintained criminal history records or databases.
However, a record or database need not be searched if the
information available in that record or database can be obtained as a
result of a search conducted in another record or database.
(b) (1) Prior to deciding whether to issue an order under this
part or when determining appropriate temporary custody and visitation
orders, the court shall consider the following information obtained
pursuant to a search conducted under subdivision (a): any conviction
for a violent felony specified in Section 667.5 of the Penal Code or
a serious felony specified in Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code; any
misdemeanor conviction involving domestic violence, weapons, or other
violence; any outstanding warrant; parole or probation status; any
prior restraining order; and any violation of a prior restraining
(2) Information obtained as a result of the search that does not
involve a conviction described in this subdivision shall not be
considered by the court in making a determination regarding the
issuance of an order pursuant to this part. That information shall be
destroyed and shall not become part of the public file in this or
any other civil proceeding.
(c) (1) After issuing its ruling, the court shall advise the
parties that they may request the information described in
subdivision (b) upon which the court relied. The court shall admonish
the party seeking the proposed order that it is unlawful, pursuant
to Sections 11142 and 13303 of the Penal Code, to willfully release
the information, except as authorized by law.
(2) Upon the request of either party to obtain the information
described in subdivision (b) upon which the court relied, the court
shall release the information to the parties or, upon either party's
request, to his or her attorney in that proceeding.
(3) The party seeking the proposed order may release the
information to his or her counsel, court personnel, and
court-appointed mediators for the purpose of seeking judicial review
of the court's order or for purposes of court proceedings under
Section 213.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(d) Any information obtained as a result of the search conducted
pursuant to subdivision (a) and relied upon by the court shall be
maintained in a confidential case file and shall not become part of
the public file in the proceeding or any other civil proceeding.
However, the contents of the confidential case file shall be
disclosed to the court-appointed mediator assigned to the case or to
a child custody evaluator appointed by the court pursuant to Section
3111 of the Family Code or Section 730 of the Evidence Code. All
court-appointed mediators and child custody evaluators appointed or
contracted by the court pursuant to Section 3111 of the Family Code
or Section 730 of the Evidence Code who may receive information from
the search conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be subject to,
and shall comply with, the California Law Enforcement
Telecommunications System policies, practices, and procedures adopted
pursuant to Section 15160 of the Government Code.
(e) If the results of the search conducted pursuant to subdivision
(a) indicate that an outstanding warrant exists against the subject
of the order, the court shall order the clerk of the court to
immediately notify, by the most effective means available,
appropriate law enforcement officials of the issuance and contents of
any protective order and of any other information obtained through
the search that the court determines is appropriate. The law
enforcement officials so notified shall take all actions necessary to
execute any outstanding warrants or any other actions, with respect
to the restrained person, as appropriate and as soon as practicable.
(f) If the results of the search conducted pursuant to subdivision
(a) indicate that the subject of the order is currently on parole or
probation, the court shall order the clerk of the court to
immediately notify, by the most effective means available, the
appropriate parole or probation officer of the issuance and contents
of any protective order issued by the court and of any other
information obtained through the search that the court determines is
appropriate. That officer shall take all actions necessary to revoke
any parole or probation, or any other actions, with respect to the
restrained person, as appropriate and as soon as practicable.
(g) Nothing in this section shall delay the granting of an
application for an order that may otherwise be granted without the
information resulting from the database search. If the court finds
that a protective order under this part should be granted on the
basis of the affidavit presented with the petition, the court shall
issue the protective order and shall then ensure that a search is
conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) prior to the hearing.