July 22, 2014
Temporary Restraining Orders

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911. During hours that the Court is closed a law enforcement officer can issue an Emergency Protective Order which lasts from 5 to 7 days. If you are not in immediate danger but need protection, you can apply at Family Court for a temporary restraining order. If you need counseling, emergency shelter, help with getting your restraining order, or someone to accompany you to court, you should call one of the following:

When there has been physical or emotional abuse, threats, stalking, harassment, or other acts of violence, you may apply to the Court for an order restraining a person from all contact with you, your children, and other family members; from living in the residence; and to stay away from you, your home, your vehicle, your residence, and the children's school and/or place child care.

What Forms are Necessary?

Different forms are used to get different types of restraining orders. ALL forms are available for no charge from the Clerk's office located at the Hall of Justice, 400 County Center, Redwood City, on the first floor, Room A. Please check the office hours before visiting the Clerk's office.

  • You may seek a Domestic Violence restraining order whether or not you have an existing case with the court as long as there is domestic violence, threats of domestic violence, or stalking:
    You may seek a restraining order against:
    • Your spouse (even if you do not want to file for a divorce at this time)
    • A current or former spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or domestic partner
    • A person related to you, such as a parent, brother/sister, or adult child.
    There is no filing fee for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
  • Civil Harassment forms are used to get a restraining order against someone who is intentionally and continuously harassing you, and when there is no domestic or family relationship between you and the other party. There are filing fees for a Civil Harassment restraining orders unless you have a low income and qualify for a waiver of court fees.
  • Workplace Violence forms must be used if you are an employer or work for a corporation where there has been violence or threats of violence against employees.

For help filling out the forms to request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, please go to Bay Area Legal Aid's Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic.

In all cases, forms must be accompanied by a declaration setting forth in detail the incidents of abuse which support your application for a restraining order. When the forms are completed they must be reviewed by the Family Law Facilitator.

The papers will be reviewed by a judge and then must be filed with the court. Someone over the age of 18 must serve the papers on the other party. The Sheriff's Office will attempt service of process for all restraining orders free of charge. They are located at 400 County Center, 3rd Floor, Redwood City, California.

At the time you submit your restraining order, you must fill out a confidential Law Enforcement Supplemental Information form. This form requests descriptive information, including birth date, home and work addresses and telephone numbers, and the driver's license number of the person you seek to have restrained. Bring all information you have with you. The purpose of this form is to make sure that your restraining order can be enforced and that it can be entered into a Statewide Protective Order Registry which is available to all law enforcement agencies.

© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County