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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Can You Petition to Remove a Dismissed DV TRO from Your Record

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: California

    Synopsis, followed by a question:

    Almost eight years ago, I was separated from my wife of a long marriage. After a year of trying to work things out, I thought the best thing would be to move back and prove to her our marriage could work. She protested, wanting me to stay living across town, but still to be able to use my credit card, manage the checkbooks and live in the house by herself. I told her the house is mine as well but not to worry — I will sleep in another bedroom but really want to make the marriage work.

    Two days later, without warning, I was served with a DVTRO (domestic violence temporary restraining order). I was shocked/speechless — there was no need for this! Her written explanation was odd, delusional and full of all kinds of rambling religious references. There was no mention of violence at all — simply claims that I am being “abusive” (the catch-all term if there ever was one), and she was terribly afraid of me. It was obvious she had become mentally and emotionally unstable. My attorney reviewed the paperwork and said not to worry. When the judge reviewed the DVTRO, it was summarily dismissed. There was no restraining order in place. Sadly, we divorced a year-and-a-half later and I thought that was the end of it.

    Forward to today: I just researched my name in the online court index of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. The category FL40 dissolution was there, naming me as the plaintiff — okay, fine — but the dismissed FL90 DVTRO was there as well, naming me as the defendant. My obvious concern is that person/agency researching me could find me circumspect because they don’t know the full backstory, and suspect I am some kind of abusive creep?

    The obvious question: is there any way to remove this DVTRO record?

    PS: if you read this far, sorry if I was verbose — I tried to keep it short. Thank you very much. : )


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,765

    Default Re: Can You Petition to Remove a Dismissed DV TRO from Your Record

    You can bring a motion to seal with the court in which the proceedings were held, but you should not anticipate that it will be an easy process -- court records are normally public records, and absent compelling cause and a firm legal basis judges are reluctant to seal them. You may benefit from consulting with a local lawyer to see how the judge assigned to your case has responded to any similar motions, but there may not be much of a history to examine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can You Petition to Remove a Dismissed DV TRO from Your Record

    Mr. Knowitall, I appreciate the reply and advice. Sounds like a lot of effort to maybe get nowhere. :-/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can You Petition to Remove a Dismissed DV TRO from Your Record

    A follow-up to anyone in the same situation: I spoke to my original divorce lawyer. I was told that this DVTRO was just that — temporary — and was dismissed before there were any proceedings on the matter (or something like that). However, if I really feel this is necessary, that the firm can either file a "motion to remove" or file a "motion to seal." Thing is though, that although this request seems straightforward on it's face, it's not that common, and the judge most likely is not well versed in this area. This means the firm has to educate the judge as to why exactly this motion should be granted, which takes a few hours of preparation. Cost for this effort? A mere $3,500 — enough to give me pause.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Can You Petition to Remove a Dismissed DV TRO from Your Record

    I was just about to post a similar question and read yours before posting...small world. I live in the same city as you & was looking for almost the same scenario. However the other party has since passed away...is it really a complicated request?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Can You Petition to Remove a Dismissed DV TRO from Your Record

    I have nothing to add to this, but glad I do not live in your state. Our state documents all cases, and they also document the outcome. If they had listed the outcome, it wouldn't look so bad.

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