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This Roadmap is a guide to aid in completing the paperwork for a domestic violence restraining order. If you need advice about your case, then you will need to ask an attorney.
- Step 1: Determine the correct courthouse for you
- Step 2: Complete the forms
- Step 3: Submit the completed forms
- Step 4: Judge reviews your documents
- Step 5: Pick up completed forms
- Step 6: The hearing
- Step 7: File the DVRO
- Step 8: Distribute copies of DVRO
To ask the Court for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)
Everyone must apply for BOTH a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) seeking immediate protection for a short period of time and a Restraining Order (DVRO) which can only be issued after a hearing, but can last up to several years.
There are 8 steps to this process in Contra Costa County
Step 1: Determine the correct courthouse for you:
If you live in Central or East County, you must file at the Spinetta Family Law Center in Martinez. NOTE: If you have an existing case that is assigned to a family law judge in Pittsburg, you must file in Pittsburg.
If you live in West County AND are not married to the person that you want protection from AND you do not have children with the person from whom you want protection, you must file in Richmond.
Step 2: Complete the forms
You may submit your application or response for a DVRO electronically by following a simple set of instructions, click here.
The Court has specially trained clerks available at all DVRO filing windows. These clerks can provide forms, answer questions and provide information about local resources. DVRO windows are located at the Spinetta Courthouse in Martinez, the courthouse in Richmond and the courthouse in Pittsburg and are open from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm. Note that Pittsburg and Richmond windows are closed for lunch from noon to 1:00 pm.
If you would like to have someone walk you through the process of filling out the forms, you can attend one of our workshops, led by Bay Area Legal Aid
If you are ready to do it on your own, start the process by filling out the forms in DVRO Packet “A”
When you have finished filling out the forms, review this checklist to make sure that you have completed all the required forms:
__ Request for DVRO (DV-100)
__ Optional: Description of Abuse (DV-101) This form is used if you need more room to write.
__ Notice of Court Hearing (DV-109)
__ Temporary Restraining Order (DV-110)
__ Confidential CLETS Information (CLETS-001)
If you have children in common, you must also complete DVRO Packet “B”. When you have finished filling out the forms, review this checklist to make sure that you have completed all the additional required forms:
__ Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders (DV-105) [If you do not wish to change the current order, please write “follow current orders” in response to Question #3 on form DV-105.]
__ Ex Parte TRO Intake Form (Local Form FamLaw-40)
__ Child Custody and Visitation Order (DV-140)
__ Optional: Request for Order: No Travel with Children (DV-108)
__ Optional: Order: No Travel with Children (DV-145) Required ONLY if DV-108 is submitted.
__ Optional: Supervised Visitation and Exchange Order
__ Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150) (Required if seeking Support)
__ An original and a copy of any existing custody, visitation or support orders. Click here for information on Contra Costa Court’s Records Department. For instructions on how to get copies of Contra Costa County orders, click here.
__ An original and one copy of any photos, texts or any other materials that you want to attach to your initial application.
Step 3: Submit the completed forms
Submit the completed forms and existing orders, photos, texts, etc. at the courthouse identified in response to Step 1 (above).
Step 4: Judge reviews your documents
The day you submit your documents, or on the next day of judicial business, a judge will review your request for a TRO and either grant or deny the TRO. The clerk will also set a date for a hearing on your DVRO. You will be given a telephone number to call to check on the status of your DVRO application.
Step 5: Pick up reviewed forms and complete service of process
When the forms are finished, you will pick up your documents at the courthouse so you can arrange for copies to be delivered to the other party. Delivering copies to the other party is called “service”. Service must be performed correctly or the judge cannot make a decision regarding your request for a DVRO. The clerks where you pick up your finished documents will give you a copy of DVRO Packet “C” which contains detailed instructions regarding service and other important matters, including filing the completed proof of service.
Step 6: The hearing
Come to Court on the day of your hearing and be prepared to explain to the judge the type of protection that you need and why you need the protection. You may also need to answer questions posed by the judge and/or the other party.
Step 7: File the DVRO
After the hearing, you must file your DVRO (the judge or clerk will tell you where to go to file it). Once the DVRO is filed, Court Staff will deliver a copy of this order to law enforcement.
You must then serve a copy on the restrained party as instructed by the judge or their clerk.
Step 8: Distribute copies of DVRO
You must also provide copies of your DVRO to others that may be called upon to enforce the order or to abide by its terms such as (1) your local police department, (2) your work (or their security department), (3) anyone who is protected by the order, and (4) your child’s school.