Getting started by completing and filing the initial forms with the court
You begin the process of obtaining restraining orders under the DVPA by completing various Judicial Council forms and filing those forms with the court clerk. These are forms issued by the Judicial Council of California. Their use is mandatory.
All Judicial Council forms can be identified by their name or by their number. For example, the initial Judicial Council form you will be completing is named, “Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order” which is also known by the number, “DV-100”. Each time we discuss a Judicial Council form, we will give you the name of the form and the form number. The form number appears at the top of each DV form.
Court Forms Database
All of the forms we will be referring to in our discussion can be found in our Court Forms Database. We give you all of the domestic violence forms for free. You can fill them out and print them and then file them with the court. When you are looking for a domestic violence Judicial Council form that we discuss, you can click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar. That will take you our Court Forms Database where you can find the form you want. All of the domestic violence forms in the database begin with the letters, “DV”, which stands for “domestic violence”.
Tips for Navigating Court Forms Database
Most of the forms in our Court Forms Database begin with the letters, “FL”, which stands for “family law” because most of the forms in our Database are divorce related forms. When searching for a form in our Database, you will see that all of the domestic violence forms are grouped together and are also listed in numerical order. If you wish, you can use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar at this time to go to our Court Forms Database and see how easy it is to find the form you want and fill it out.
Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DV-100)
The first form you are going to complete is the “Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order” (FL-100). Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database to find said form. Fill out the DV-100, print it, and sign it. You do not have to type up the information on the form. You can fill out the form with a pen if you wish. The court will accept forms that are filled out in pen. If you are going to fill out the form in pen, make sure your writing is legible.
When you fill out the DV-100, you do not need to put anything in the space with the case number. The court will assign a case number when you file your documents with the court clerk.
The DV-100 begins by telling you that you need to complete another form known as the “CLETS-001”. We discuss the CLETS-001 form immediately after we discuss the DV-100 form.
If you want restraining orders to protect not only you, but also members of your household, you can list the other people you want protected in item #3 on page 1 of the DV-100.
Most of the DV-100 form consists of a list of the various types of restraining orders and other orders you can request. You can look through the various orders that are listed on pages 2 through 4, and check the box or boxes for the orders you want. You can check the boxes for one or two orders or you can all of the boxes and ask for all of the orders listed on the form. If you don’t really need a particular type of order, don’t check the box for that type of order.
When you fill out the DV-100, you want to pay special attention to item #27. In item #27, you describe how the other person has abused you and/or your children. You start with the most recent act of abuse and then describe other acts of abuse. Whether or not you get the temporary restraining orders (TROs) you are requesting will depend on what you write down in item #27.
When you fill out section #27, give detailed information. If you don’t have enough room on the court form to describe what happened, add an attachment sheet. If you need to add an attachment sheet, you can use the Judicial Council “Attachment” form, which is MC-025. You can find the MC-025 form in our Court Forms Database. Note that this form starts with the letters “MC” and not “DV”.
Section #27 of the DV-100 gives you room to describe two incidents of abuse. You describe the most recent incident on page 5 of the DV-100 and you can describe another incident on page 6 of the DV-100. If there have been additional incidents of abuse that you want to tell the court about, you can use another form, “Description of Abuse”, (DV-101), to describe additional incidents of abuse. You can find the DV-101 in our Court Forms Database.
If you are asking for temporary restraining orders, the court is looking for recent acts of abuse. You are probably not going to get the court to issue temporary restraining orders if the most recent act of abuse happened two years ago. The more recent the abuse and the more serious the abuse, the more likely it is that the court will grant your request for temporary restraining orders. If a gun or other weapon was involved in any way, be sure to mention it in your paperwork.
If you have documents that are evidence of the abuse, attach those documents as exhibits to your DV-100. For example, if the other person hit you and you have a photograph of a black eye or a bruise, attach that photograph. If the other person damaged or destroyed your property, attach a photograph of the damaged property. If you have emails from the other person and the emails contain threats, attach copies of the emails. If the police were called and the police issued an Emergency Protective Order, attach a copy of the order.
Attaching exhibits to your DV-100 is easy. Simply take a blank sheet of paper and write, Exhibit “1” in large print at the bottom. Then, put your exhibit behind that page and then attach it to the back of your DV-100. For you next document, Exhibit “2”, do the same thing. Hearings on domestic violence are generally “he said; she said” type hearings. It is oftentimes very difficult for a judge to determine which party is telling the truth. Documentary evidence, such as photographs, can be very persuasive.
If, in your DV-100, you asked for any kind of financial relief, such as a request for child support, a request for spousal support, a request that the other party pay certain debts, or a request for attorney fees, then you are also going to need to fill out and file an Income & Expense Declaration (FL-150). Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database to find a blank FL-150 form that you can fill out. Please note, this is an “FL” form and not a “DV” form. If you need help filling out the FL-150, and you are willing to pay $10 with your credit card, click the “Video Guides” button on the navigation bar and select the “Declaration of Disclosure” video guide. Our “Declaration of Disclosure” video guide includes four instructional videos you can watch. One of the videos explains how to fill out the FL-150 and provides you with an example of a completed FL-150.
If, in your DV-100, you asked for child custody or visitation orders, then you are also going to need to attach to your DV-100, a form called, “Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders” (DV-105). Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database to find a blank DV-105 that you can fill out and print. If you are going to ask for child custody or visitation orders, we recommend you read another section of our website that will educate you on the differences between “legal custody” and “physical custody”, as well as other legal concepts related to child custody orders. The section of the website you should read is under the caption, “Getting Educated”, and then see the sub-topic entitled, “Child Custody”.
If you are going to ask the court to issue child custody orders, the court will likely require you and your spouse to participate in “child custody mediation” or “child custody recommending counseling” before the hearing. We discuss the process of “child custody mediation” and “child custody recommending counseling” in another section of our website. You should read this information that is located under the caption, “Contested Divorce”, sub-section, “Temporary Orders” and then see the section entitled, “Obtaining temporary child custody orders”.
Completing the CLETS-001
If you submit a DV-100, you must also complete and submit to the court a CLETS-001. This is a one page confidential information form. The purpose of the form is to give law enforcement agencies information they can use to enforce any restraining orders. Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find a blank CLETS-100 form you can fill out. Although this form is a domestic violence form, it does not start with the letters, “DV”.
Completing the Temporary Restraining Order (DV-110)
You want the judge to read your DV-100 on the day you submit it to the court and decide to immediately issue Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) that will stay in effect until the hearing on your DV-100. The TROs, if granted, will be set forth in the Judicial Council form known as “Temporary Restraining Order” (DV-110).
You should complete the DV-110 and submit it to the court along with your DV-100 and your CLETS-001. Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find a blank DV-110 that you can fill out.
When you fill out the DV-110, you want it to match your DV-100. In other words, whatever restraining orders you requested in your DV-100, you are going to check the boxes for the same restraining orders on your DV-110. If you asked for Personal Conduct Orders on your DV-100, then check the boxes for a Personal Conduct Order on your DV-110. However, don’t check any of the three boxes located next to each TRO that read, “Not requested”; “Denied until the hearing”; or “Granted as follows”. Those boxes are for the judge to check after the judge has read your paperwork. See discussion in the next paragraph.
When you fill out the DV-110, you hope the judge will grant all of the temporary restraining orders you have requested. The judge may not grant some or all of the temporary restraining orders (TROs). You will see on the DV-110 that there are three boxes after each TRO.
After the judge reads your DV-100, the judge will decide which TROs should be granted and which should be denied until the hearing. The judge will then check the appropriate boxes after each TRO on the DV-110. Some judges, if they deny your TROs, may also cross out the TROs and stamp “denied” over those TROs that were denied. After the judge decides which TROs should be granted or denied, the judge will date and sign the DV-110 on page 4.
If the judge denies some or all of your requested TROs, this does not mean you have lost your request for those restraining orders. It simply means the judge did not feel it was necessary to issue those restraining orders on an immediate basis. At the time of the hearing, the judge, after hearing from both parties, may decide to grant all of the restraining orders (ROs) you requested.
Note that the DV-110 is not structured for a judge to issue a TRO for child support or spousal support. Child support and spousal support orders are not granted on an emergency basis. You will have to wait until the hearing for the judge to make a support order.
There is a section on the DV-110 that you do not fill out. Don’t fill out section #4 on page 1 under, “Court Hearing”. The court will fill in the date and time of the hearing, at which time any TROs will expire.
Completing the Notice of Court Hearing (DV-109)
In addition to your DV-100, CLETS-001; and DV-110, you will need a form called, “Notice of Court Hearing” (DV-109). You can find this form in our Court Forms Database. You only fill out items #1 and #2 on the DV-109. The court will fill out the rest of the form.
Completing other court forms you may need
As previously mentioned, if you are asking for financial orders in your DV-100 (i.e., child support, spousal support, debt payment, etc.), you will need to complete and file the FL-150. As previously mentioned, if you are asking the court to issue child custody orders, you will need to include a “Request for Child Custody and Visitation Orders” (DV-105).
If you want the court to issue a TRO that includes child custody orders, then you will also need to complete and submit to the court a “Child Custody and Visitation Order” (DV-140). Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find a blank DV-140 that you can fill out and print. Again, you will be able to find all of the domestic violence court forms you need in our Database.
There are 58 counties in California. There are local rules, procedures, and forms that vary from county to county. The Judicial Council forms we have discussed apply to all counties, but your county may have a unique local form or a unique local procedure that applies when someone requests domestic violence restraining orders. The court will let you know if another form is required.