How to Dissolve a Restraining Order in California

By Nicholas Smith
Restraining orders are dissolved through formal judicial processes.

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According to the California Court Self-Help Center, restraining orders are legally binding documents that protect individuals from physical abuse, harassment, stalking and threats. Once active, restraining orders may be dissolved by filing the necessary paperwork in local superior court. Only judges are allowed to vacate restraining orders.

Dissolving a Restraining Order in California

Fill out the required forms. Complete the Order to Show Cause form (form #FL-300), the Application for Order and Supporting Declaration (form #FL-310), and the Proof of Personal Service form (form #FL-330). All forms are available at your local Superior Court.

Copy and file forms. Make three copies of each form and file a copy at your local Superior Court. Be prepared to pay any applicable filing fees or request a fee waiver.

Receive a court date from your local Superior Court.

Serve filed copies of the Order to Show Cause, the Application for Order and Supporting Declaration and a Responsive Declaration to Order to Show Cause/Notice of Motion to the restrained party. You may not serve the papers yourself; papers must be served by professional process servers or any adult age 18 and older who is not a party to the case.

Ensure that the process server completes the Proof of Professional Service form.

Appear at your scheduled court date with any relevant witnesses. Be prepared to present all documents, including evidence supporting the information supplied in your declaration.

File the Findings and Order After Hearing form (form #FL-340) with the court clerk. If the restrained party is absent from the hearing, this final document must be served to them.

About the Author

Nicholas Smith has written political articles for SmithonPolitics.com, "The Daily Californian" and other publications since 2004. He is a former commissioner with the city of Berkeley, Calif. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California-Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from St. John's University School of Law.

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