Forms to File in California for a Dropped Restraining Order

By Teo Spengler - Updated July 25, 2018

Don't make the mistake of getting a restraining order in California with the intention of dropping it when you feel like it. If you read up on California domestic violence restraining orders or other California restraining orders, you'll find that courts issue them when they feel a person is in danger. Once you are granted a temporary restraining order, it is virtually impossible to drop it before the court hearing. However, you can seek to modify a permanent restraining order.

Restraining Order California FAQs

A restraining order is an order of protection. It is also known as a protective order in California. It protects a person from being abused, threatened, stalked or harassed. The person seeking the order is called the protected person. The person the restraining order is issued against is called the restrained person.

In California, four different types of restraining orders are available to protect against abuse and threats in different situations. They are:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order

While the reasons for a restraining order in California vary, all involve a perceived threat that justifies court protection. The orders can make the restrained person stay away from the protected person, make him stop certain acts including contacting the protected person, and even make him move out of a shared residence. You seek a domestic violence restraining order, an elder abuse order or a civil harassment restraining order for yourself, but a workplace violence restraining order is sought by a California employer on behalf of an employee.

Restraining Order Forms in California

Restraining order forms in California are available through the superior court's self-help center. For example, you can get domestic violence restraining order form packets online or from the superior court. Ask for the forms at any California courthouse or county law library or look for them online on the California Courts website. Some courts offer free workshops on form preparation. For example, the Sacramento court offers workshops on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

If you ask for a temporary restraining order, you will be assigned a hearing date. At the hearing, the court will decide whether to make the order permanent. Once you get the TRO, there is no way to "drop the charges" and stop the hearing. However, failure to show up at the hearing will have the same result. After a permanent order is entered, you may file papers in order to modify or alter its terms. In Orange County, for example, you can use form CH-600 to modify or terminate the order. But it's a good idea to contact an attorney before seeking to modify an order.

About the Author

Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.

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