How to Modify a Restraining Order in California

By Joseph Nicholson
You, a motion, a restraining order, California

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California offers four types of restraining orders. The most common is the domestic violence restraining order. Either the party restrained or the party who initially obtained the order can seek a modification to the order if there is a significant change in the circumstances or some other good reason for the court to do so.

Download the necessary forms. The Family Law motion forms are available on the California Courts Self-Help Center website by selecting Family Law - Motions and Attachments for the group of forms (click on the link in the Resource section). To request a modification to an existing domestic violence restraining order, you need Form FL-300 Order to Show Cause and Form FL-310 Application for Order and Supporting Declaration (click on the appropriate links in the Resource section).

Complete the forms, and make copies of the forms. You can complete and print each of the forms on your computer. Sign the originals, and make three additional copies.

File the forms and have them served. Take the originals and copies to the court clerk and have them filed. There is no filing fee for domestic violence cases. One of each of the copies has to be served on the person restrained in accordance with California law. A sheriff, process server or anyone over 18 can serve process. The person who serves process has to complete and file Form FL-330 Proof of Personal Service (click on the link in the Resource section). Service must be completed at least 21 days prior to the hearing to modify.

Attend the hearing. Depending on the county, your motion is set for hearing either at the time of filing by the clerk, by a separate calendar clerk or after the proof of service is filed. At the hearing, you can have an attorney represent you or represent yourself. If you succeed in convincing the judge that the restraining order should be modified, an order is issued in your favor.

About the Author

Joseph Nicholson is an independent analyst whose publishing achievements include a cover feature for "Futures Magazine" and a recurring column in the monthly newsletter of a private mint. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Florida and is currently attending law school in San Francisco.

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