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You Ask, Patch Answers: How Can I Obtain a Restraining Order?

By contacting the Family Court in downtown San Jose, one can begin the process of filling out the proper documents to protect themselves from possible spousal/cohabitant abuse.

This is the fourth installment of our Sunday feature, “You Ask ... Patch Answers,” where we strive to find answers to all your questions—big, small and in-between—about the town we live and work in.

Whether it’s something you’ve always wondered about, some information you just can’t put your hands on or a sudden curiosity, we want to hear it.

Send your queries to or leave them in the comments section below, and I will do my best to dig up an answer for you. You also can call me at 408-391-8725.

This week a woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, asked how one can obtain a restraining order against a partner or cohabitant.

The Town of Los Gatos' website has some information on what to do for potential victims telling them to contact Family Court, 170 Park Center Plaza, in San Jose, call 408-534-5600, or visit the Santa Clara County Superior Court's website for more information.

Under self help, the court's site has a page exclusively dedicated for domestic violence restraining orders. The page explains what DV is, how to get an emergency protective order and how to get a DV restraining order. It also contains information on fees and waivers associated with obtaining such orders, how to fill out anf file the forms, and other things you should know about the process.

But to get to the reader's question, to get a restraining order, one must fill out the prevention forms, which can be obtained from:

  • The Restraining Order Help Center (free), located on the lower level of the Family Courthouse in downtown San Jose
  • The clerk’s office at the Family Courthouse in downtown San Jose (free)
  • Online at the Judicial Council State Forms  page (free). Choose "Domestic Violence" from the dropdown menu. Forms are available in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Spanish but the forms must be filled out in English
  • Bookstores and print shops that have legal forms

When you're done getting the document, fill it out and take it to the court specialist at the Family Court, where a judge will review the documents and make a determination within 24 hours about whether the order can be granted or not.

Daniel Anderson August 20, 2012 at 02:27 AM
It appears that getting a Restraining Order can take a fair bit of time. This can be an issue when a victim is suffering ongoing violent abuse. I noticed from the links that there was an "Emergency Protective Order" though the downside is that it only lasts for 7 calendar days. So I was wondering, is it possible to first get an Emergency Protective Order and then get a Restraining Order approved before the Emergency Protective Order expires?
Sheila Sanchez (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Hi Daniel, I'll get an answer for you in next Sunday's installment. I hope it can wait and that you're not asking for this personally. Hope all is well.

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