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Reporting Abuse to the Authorities

Reporting suspected elder abuse is simple:

  • IF THE ABUSE IS LIFE THREATENING, CALL 911. The police can issue an Emergency Protective Order to protect you.
  • If the abuse is non-life threatening and taking place in a private home, you can report abuse to the Orange County Adult Protective Services Agency by calling their 24 hour hotline at 1-800- 451-5155.
  • If the abuse is taking place in a licensed long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, contact the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Service at 714-479-0107 or 800-300-6222. Or, you may contact the statewide ombudsman at 800-231-4024; TDD/TTY 916-928-2511. For more information on the Long-Term Care Ombudsman: http://www.coaoc.org/programs-and-services/ombudsman/how-it-helps.aspx.
  • You can also report elder abuse of any kind to the California Attorney General’s Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting Hotline by calling 1-888-436-3600.

Where to Get Help

There are several agencies that can provide you with help in getting a Restraining Order and other legal assistance, shelter, counseling, and treatment. Here are a few:

  • Domestic Violence Assistance Program Office: This program can help you fill out the forms to get a Restraining Order.
    • Superior Court of Orange County, Lamoreaux Justice Center (6th Floor Room C-611), 341 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92868
    • Telephone: 1-714-935-7956
  • Orange County Family Justice Center: Offers comprehensive services.
  • Legal Assistance:
    • Senior Legal Hotline: 1-800-222-1753
    • Legal Aid Society of Orange County: 1-714-571-5200
    • Public Law Center: 1-714-541-1010
    • Orange County Bar Association: 1-949-440-6747
  • Orange County Adult Protective Services
    • 800-451-5155 (24-Hour Hotline)

What is Abuse?

If you are a person 65 years or older or a dependent adult between the ages of 18 and 64, you can ask for a restraining order if you have been:

  • Physically abused
  • Financially abused
  • Mentally or emotionally abused
  • Neglected
  • Abandoned or abducted
  • Isolated
  • Deprived by a caregiver of goods or services you needed to avoid harm or suffering

If you are unable to request a Restraining Order on your own, a conservator or another person with legal authority to represent you may do so on your behalf. You can also ask that other family or household members or your conservator be protected by the Restraining Order.

Find out more information by reading Can a Restraining Order to Prevent Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Help Me? (EA-100-INFO) .


How Will a Restraining Order Help Me?

The court can order a restrained person to:

  • Not abuse, harass, hit or threaten you
  • Not to contact or go near you
  • Not have a gun
  • Move out
  • And other orders

You can also ask for protection for people who live with you and family members.


Who Can File an Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order?

In addition to the elder or dependent adult, the following persons may apply for a restraining order on behalf of the elder or dependent adult:

  • A conservator or trustee of the adult
  • An attorney-in-fact of the adult who acts within the authority of the power of attorney
  • A person appointed as guardian ad litem for the adult
  • Any other person legally authorized to seek such relief

Where to File

If the person you are seeking the Restraining Order against lives in Orange County or the alleged harassment or abuse took place in Orange County, the request for a Restraining Order should be filed in the Superior Court at the Central Justice Center (Civil Clerk’s Office, 1st Floor), 700 Civic Center Drive, West, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

Court hours are 8:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday. You can also ask for an immediate Temporary Restraining Order on the same day if your papers are completed correctly and filed with the Civil Clerk’s Office before 4:00pm. A Temporary Restraining Order protects you until the hearing date.

Forms can be obtained from any of the Court’s Self-Help Centers. The Self-Help Centers can assist with procedures for completing the forms. Please allow enough time for the forms to be completed in time to be filed in the Civil Clerk’s Office at Central Justice Center by the 4:00 p.m. deadline if you want to file your documents on the same day

Domestic Violence Assistance Program Office hours are 8:00am-4:00pm (closed from 12:00pm-12:30pm). If you want help with the forms and procedures, you can also go to the Domestic Violence Assistance Program Office at the Lamoreaux Justice Center located on the 6th floor in Room C-611, (phone number: 1-714-935-7956). If you want a Temporary Restraining Order issued on the same day, you should arrive at the Domestic Violence Assistance Program Office by 8:30am so that the forms can be completed in time to file in the Civil Clerk’s Office by the 4:00pm deadline at the Central Justice Center.

NOTE: The Domestic Violence Assistance Program Office is located at Lamoreaux Justice Center.


Forms to Complete

Complete the following forms:
You can get them:
  • Online by clicking on the forms above.
  • Get help in person with how to file a Restraining Order at any of the Self-Help Centers or at the Domestic Violence Assistance Program - see above.

NOTE: The person seeking protection is called the protected person. The person you want protection from is called the restrained person.

Filing the Forms and Getting a Hearing

NOTICE OF REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER:

If you need immediate protection, you can ask the court for a Temporary Restraining Order. Before filing the forms, you must give written or telephonic "notice" to the respondent of when and where you will be seeking a Temporary Restraining Order, or give the judge a good reason why you could not give such notice. The form that you use for this is called "Declaration Re: Notice" (L-1124) and is included in the forms above. The Domestic Violence Assistance Program Office (see above) can further explain the process.

FILE THE FORMS IN THE CIVIL DIVISION CLERK’S OFFICE:

After completing the forms, you will file them in the Central Justice Center Civil Clerk’s Office on the 1st floor no later than 4:00pm, Monday – Friday.

FILING FEE:

There is no fee to file these documents.

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER:

The judge generally rules on your request for a Temporary Restraining Order on the same day you make the request. If the judge grants your request, check it carefully to see what the orders are. The judge might not order everything you requested. The court will set a hearing date regardless of whether Temporary Restraining Orders were granted or not.

KEEP A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES in case you need to show it to a Law Enforcement Officer.

HEARING DATE:

A court hearing will be set in about 3 weeks so the judge can decide if the orders will continue for up to 5 years. If you fail to appear, the judge may dismiss your case. The Temporary Restraining Order will also expire and you will have no further protection.

If you have a disability and need help, fill out Request for Accommodations By Persons With Disabilities (MC-410)  and file it with the court as soon as possible, but at least five days before the hearing date.


SERVING THE RESTRAINED PERSON

You are entitled to free service by the Orange County Sheriff. Complete the Sheriff Instruction form (OCSD1) . The clerk will forward the documents to the Sheriff, if requested.

You may also request a person over 18 who is not involved in the case, or a licensed process server serve the documents. You can learn about serving the documents by reading the form What is "Proof of Personal Service"? (EA-200-INFO) . The server or Sheriff must prove to the court that the documents were served on the person that you want restrained by filing a Proof of Personal Service (EA-200)  with the court before the hearing date.

Refer to section 5 of the conformed copy signed by the judge of the "Notice of Court Hearing" (EA-109) form to determine what forms must be served on the respondent and the date they must be served by.


After the Hearing

If the judge signs the restraining order, it expires on the date set forth in the order - up to 5 years. For more information on the orders made by the judge, read the filed copy signed by the judge of the “Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order After Hearing (EA-130)”.

You must have the restrained person served with a conformed copy signed by the judge of the "Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order After Hearing" (EA-130) as follows:

  • If the restrained person was at the hearing no other proof of service is needed.
  • If the restrained person was NOT at the hearing, and the judge’s orders are the SAME as the temporary order, you may have him or her served by someone over the age of 18 by mail.
  • If the restrained person was not at the hearing, and the judge’s orders are different from the temporary order, you must have someone over the age of 18 serve the Restraining Order after Hearing in PERSON, not by mail. Or, you are entitled to free service by the Orange County Sheriff. Complete the Sheriff Instruction form (OCSD2) . The clerk will forward the documents to the Sheriff if requested.

KEEP A CERTIFIED COPY OF THIS ORDER AND PROOF OF SERVICE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES in case you need to show it to a Law Enforcement Officer.


What If I Am Unable to Serve the Respondent Before the Hearing Date?

REQUESTING A NEW HEARING DATE:

If the forms cannot be served in time for the court hearing you should come to the court hearing and tell the judge that you were unable to get the papers served.

Fill out the following forms and bring them to court:

You will get a new hearing date and forms that will extend your Temporary Restraining Order until the new hearing date.

SERVING THE RESTRAINED PERSON:

You are entitled to free service by the Orange County Sheriff. Complete the Sheriff Instruction form (OCSD1) . The clerk will forward the documents to the Sheriff if requested.

The documents may also by a licensed process server or by any person over 18 and not involved in the case. You can learn more about serving the documents by reading the form What is "Proof of Personal Service"? (EA-200-INFO) . The server must prove to the court that the documents were served on the person that you want restrained by filing a Proof of Personal Service (EA-200)  with the court a before the hearing date.

Refer to section 7 of the conformed copy signed by the judge on the "Notice of New Hearing Date and Order on Reissuance" (EA-116) form to determine what forms must be served on the restrained person and the date they must be served by.

KEEP A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE TEMPORRARY RESTRAINING ORDER WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES in case you need to show it to a Law Enforcement Officer.


Contesting or Responding To a Request For a Restraining Order

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER:

The person requesting the restraining order, the protected party, can ask the judge to immediately issue a Temporary Restraining Order that lasts until the hearing date. If you (the restrained person) receive notice from the petitioner, usually a phone call, advising you that they are requesting a Temporary Restraining Order, you have the right to appear before the judge to object to it. However, the petitioner can also request a Temporary Restraining Order without letting you know if they are fearful of contacting you.

HOW TO FILE A RESPONSE:

After the petitioner files the papers with the court, a hearing date will be set. You must be served with a copy of the papers. Read them carefully. If a Temporary Restraining Order was granted, you must obey the temporary orders of the court.

This includes:

  • Personal Conduct Orders
  • Stay-Away Order
  • No Guns or Other Firearms
  • Turn in or Sell Guns or Firearms

To protect your rights, read How Can I Respond To a Request for Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Orders? (EA-120-INFO) .

You can agree or disagree with the orders:

You may receive assistance at any of the court’s Self-Help Centers.

Attend the hearing. If you do not, the judge can make orders against you.


Violating the Restraining Order

The protected person should always carry a certified copy of the Restraining Order. If the restrained person violates the order, call the police or 911 if it is life threatening. The police will decide what action to take. The restrained person may be arrested and criminal charges may be filed.


Extending (Renewing) the Date of the Permanent Restraining Order

RENEWING THE RESTRAINING ORDER:

A protected person may ask the court to renew a restraining order, either for additional five years or permanently, whether or not there has been any more violence or threats of violence. If there is a need for renewal, he or she should apply before the original order runs out.

SERVING THE RESTRAINED PERSON WITH THE REQUEST FOR RENEWAL:
  • You are entitled to free service by the Orange County Sheriff. Complete the Sheriff Instruction form (OCSD2) . The clerk will forward the documents to the Sheriff if requested.
  • OR, have someone at least 18 years old personally serve the retrained person with a copy of the forms listed in section 4 of the conformed copy signed by the judge entitled "Notice of Hearing to Renew Restraining Order" (EA-710).
  • For more information on service, read the form called What is "Proof of Personal Service"? (EA-200-INFO) .
  • The person who serves the documents must complete the Proof of Personal Service (EA-200) . This document must be filed with the court before your hearing.
COURT HEARING:

Go to the court hearing. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not to renew the order. Complete and bring the forms:

AFTER THE COURT HEARING:

If your request to renew/extend the restraining order is granted by the judge, the Civil Clerk’s Office or Self-Help Center at the Central Justice Center or Domestic Violence Assistance Center at the Lamoreaux Justice Center can assist you with any documents which must be served on the restrained party, entry of the order into CLETS, and provide you with copies.

KEEP A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE ORDER AND PROOF OF SERVICE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES in case you need to show it to a Law Enforcement Officer.


Contesting or Responding to a Request to Renew a Restraining Order

The protected person can make a request to the court to extend (renew) a restraining order prior to the time in which it expires. You can agree or disagree with the request by filling out and filing with the court a form called Response to Request to Renew Restraining Order (DV-720) .

Have someone at least 18 years old serve the protected person by mail with a copy of the Response. They must complete a Proof of Service by Mail (DV-250) . Bring this form with you to the hearing.

The court will consider your Response at the hearing. You must continue to obey the current restraining order until the hearing. If you do not come to the hearing, the court may renew the order against you for up to 5 years or permanently.

Talk to a lawyer about your rights.


Guns and Firearms

The judge may order that the restrained person not own, possess, buy or try to buy, receive or try to receive, or otherwise get a gun while a Restraining Order is in effect. If a restrained person violates this order, it can result in jail and/or $1,000.00 fine. The restrained person must sell to a licensed gun dealer or turn in to a law enforcement agency any guns or other firearms that he/she has or control in accordance with the order of the court. If the court makes this order, the restrained person must comply and then file Proof of Firearms Turned In or Sold (EA-800) . If the restrained person does not obey the court order, he or she can be charged with a crime. Read "How Do I Turn In or Sell My Firearms (EA-800-INFO) ".


HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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