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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default What Threats or Actions are Enough for a Restraining Order

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: California

    About a month ago I told my boyfriend of 8 years to move out, he had been living with me in my parents home for about 4 years. First he threatened to kill himself if I left him then things came to a head after a few days and he attempted to force his way through my locked bathroom door while I was in the shower "to talk". My parents were in the house, witnessed this, stopped him and he left. I called the police to file an incident report, the officer spoke with him on the phone and he agreed to move out. He is now living across the street with a neighbor until he can move out of town with his brother.
    Since then things have gone missing from my car (insignia and badges), and several online accounts have been hacked or deleted. I know I don't have any proof or recourse regarding the online activity but can the shower incident be enough to request a restraining order? I am afraid of what might happen next and he is literally living across the street, working in town, knows my workplace, can watch me come and go all day. Thank you for the help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is It Enough for a Restraining Order

    California tends to be one of the states where few (or even one) incidents can result in the issuing of a restraining order. Given that you've got witnesses to his behavior, police have been involved, and he's made threats of violence (yes, suicide threats count too - because unfortunately sometimes jilted lovers take themselves out AFTER killing the objects of their "affection"), you've got an above average chance of the court issuing an order for your protection. However, it's important for you to realize that a restraining order, while it may provide some levels of protection AFTER another incident occurs, in and of itself it's only a piece of paper whose usefulness is dependant on the restrained person being afraid of the consequences of violating the order IF they get caught doing so. No piece of paper, no matter it's origin or what is written on it, can stop someone whose desire to harm or harass you is more important to them than facing those possible consequences. Situations like these are really where you need to have a personal safety plan. You can get free assistance with filing for the restraining order and with safety planning from your local domestic violence program (in CA: 800-524-4765), and can get a head start on a safety plan at

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Is It Enough for a Restraining Order

    I have an appointment with the local women's center this week about filing for an RO. Considering he is living across the street with a neighbor how will that go down if the RO is issued. Will he have to move out immediately or will an exception be made for him to pack his things and go?
    Normally I would not be pushing so hard for an RO but just yesterday more accounts of mine were accessed, including my cell (autopay was set up, a clear case of unauthorized use of a bank account, I now suspect that he took a box of checkbooks from my house while moving out) and my info (name, email) was used to sign me up for several job boards swamping my inbox. There's no real way to get any proof of the online activity and it may not stop even with an RO but at least he would have to move away from my neighborhood.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is It Enough for a Restraining Order

    Actually, if he has already established himself as living there and you haven't yet sought the order, odds are that the court won't force him to move out. If he was living under your roof, yes. But living under someone else's roof, no. If you'd sought an emergency order immediately upon the incident involving police, the court could have issued a temporary emergency order that would have prevented him from moving IN across the street, but now since he's already living there, having established a new place of residence separate and apart from you, the court can really only force him to avoid interacting with you and your property. If you've got incidents of unauthorized use of your accounts occurring, you need to be reporting those to your banks AND to police AND checking your credit report to see what ELSE he might be up to. And IMMEDIATELY go in and change all your passwords to EVERYTHING or close your accounts and open new ones with new account numbers. And, when you have your restraining order hearing, make SURE that if he owns or possesses any firearms that you both inform the judge AND that you SPECIFICALLY ask the court to order that those firearms be taken by law enforcement.

    For the benefit of other readers who may be in similar situations, problems like this one are why you need to be talking to an advocate and seeking a restraining order IMMEDIATELY when violent incidents occur, and BEFORE having the confrontation of telling someone to move out. Not only does just telling them to move out without the support of a restraining order give them opportunities to do things like moving in next door (since there's nothing preventing them from doing so), if your abusive partner has been living with you they may have tenant rights such that you might not otherwise be able to make them leave without evicting them; giving them LOTS of time and opportunity to cause all sorts of problems for you while you get your legal ducks in a row (breaking your stuff, damaging your home, making off with any "naughty" photos or videos of you, etc.). And, having a safety plan in place BEFORE taking action of forcing them out means that you'd have already taken steps to lock down, close, or cancel accounts that could be used to harass, annoy, frame, or otherwise interfere with your life. The whole idea behind safety planning is to make sure you've got all those bases covered and have prepared a hardened defense again retaliation PRIOR to playing the "get out and stay out" card.

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