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Temporary Restraining Orders

RISE offers resources and help for survivors of sexual assault, sexual abuse and/or intimate partner violence who may need a restraining order against their abuser or attacker.


A restraining order (also called a “protective order”) is a court order that can protect someone from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed. The person getting the restraining order is called the “protected person.” The person the restraining order is against is the “restrained person."


RISE provides legal support to survivors of sexual assault/abuse and intimate partner violence. A legal services advocate can provide Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is a civil court order signed by a judge that tells an abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence regardless of gender or sexual identity. There are four types of domestic violence restraining orders:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO) - Any court-issued order intended to protect a person from harm or harassment. It is issued by the police, out of court, to immediately prevent intimate partner violence and protect a person from harm or harassment. Emergency protective orders are stopgap measures that normally last for five days, after which the abused person is expected to seek a temporary restraining order from a court.
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) - If you are in immediate danger and need protection right away, you can ask for a temporary (ex parte) restraining order. This can order the abuser to leave the home and have no contact with you as well as offer you many other forms of protection. When applying for a restraining order, the clerk will give you a date, usually within three weeks, when you will have to come back to court for a full hearing.
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order (after hearing) - After having a court hearing, a judge can grant you a “restraining order after hearing” that can last up to five years. However, if there is no termination date on the order, the order will last 3 years from the date it was issued. During the last three months of the order, you can file a "request to renew restraining order," this can be granted for up to five years or permanently.
  • Criminal Protective Order (CPO) - This order is issued by a judge in Criminal Court with the purpose of protecting a witness or survivor of a crime. A CPO can be issued in a intimate partner violence case that has been reported to the police and then filed by the District Attorney’s Office. Once the case appears before a judge, a CPO can be issued.

A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is a civil court order that is signed by a judge and is for survivors who are being harassed, stalked, abused, or threatened by someone who is not as close as is required under domestic violence cases, like a roommate, a neighbor, or more distant family members like cousins, aunts or uncles, or nieces or nephews. This is the type of order utilized by survivors of sexual assault/abuse when the perpetrator was not an intimate partner (spouse, cohabitant, share a child, dating, girlfriend/boyfriend).


In general restraining orders can include:

  • Personal conduct orders: These are orders to stop specific acts against everyone named in the restraining order as a “protected person.” Some of the things that the restrained person can be ordered to stop are:
    • Contacting, calling, or sending any messages (including e-mail);
    • Attacking, striking, or battering;
    • Stalking;
    • Threatening;
    • Sexually assaulting;
    • Harassing;
    • Destroying personal property; or
    • Disturbing the peace of the protected people.
  • Stay-away orders: These are orders to keep the restrained person a certain distance away (like 50 or 100 yards) from:
    • The protected person or persons;
    • Where the protected person lives;
    • Their place of work;
    • Their children’s schools or places of child care;
    • Their vehicle;
    • Other important places where they go.
  • Residence exclusion (“kick-out” or “move-out”) orders: These are orders telling the restrained person to move out from where the protected person lives and to take only clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing. These orders can only be asked for in domestic violence or elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order cases.

For the person to be restrained, having a restraining order against them can have very serious consequences:

  • They will not be able to go to certain places or to do certain things.
  • They might have to move out of their home.
  • It may affect their ability to see their children.
  • It may affect their immigration status if they are trying to get a green card or a visa.
  • If the restrained person violates (breaks) the restraining order, they may go to jail, pay a fine, or both.


A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) can be of great comfort to survivors fearing for their safety. However, navigating the family court system can be difficult and overwhelming. RISE provides survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault/abuse with assistance when trying to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order or a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.

RISE is able to provide assistance in completing restraining order documents, explain the process and answer questions, assist with the filing of appropriate documents, help serve papers to the sheriff's office, and accompany you to court on the day of your hearing. Staff members are trained advocates; they are NOT attorneys or paralegals and will not give legal advice.

Please call our Legal Line at 805-781-6418 to learn more about legal services.


San Luis Obispo County Superior Court of California
San Luis Obispo Superior Courthouse 1035 Palm St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 (805) 781-5706
Paso Robles Superior Courthouse 901 Park St., Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 237-3079

Self-Help Center/Family Law Facilitator Office

Free self-help center assisting with domestic violence, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, paternity, child custody, spousal and child support. Located in SLO County Superior Court locations (see above).

San Luis Obispo Lawline

Legal referral program for San Luis Obispo County; volunteers lawyers, when available, can provide legal information and advice at no charge to individuals who are in need, and unable to afford a lawyer. Visit the link or call for more information at (805) 548-8884.


San Luis Obispo Courthouse: Wednesday and Thursday mornings, 8:30-11:30 am

Paso Robles Courthouse: Tuesdays, 8:30 am-4:00 pm (closed 11:30 am-1:30 pm)

To schedule an appointment call (805) 788-3418 for San Luis Obispo, and (805) 788-2491 for Paso Robles.

RISE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides crisis intervention and treatment services to survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and their loved ones. All services are provided confidentially, at low or no cost, to anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability or citizenship status. All crisis services are available in Spanish and English.