Welcome to FreeDivorce.com.
Christina: This is Christina.
Ed: This is Ed. In this video, we are going to talk about the court forms you need to fill out to start your application for domestic violence restraining orders under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. There is a lot to explain and we are going to need two videos to go over the initial forms.
Christina: In the previous video, we went over all of the different kinds of restraining orders you can get under the DVPA. Are there different types of restraining orders?
Ed: There are three types of domestic violence restraining orders. If you and/or your children have been the victim of domestic violence and you report the matter to the police, a police officer will come to your home and interview you and any witnesses. The officer will also likely interview the other person. If the police officer concludes that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists and that an emergency protective order is necessary to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of domestic violence, then an “Emergency Protective Order” or “EPO” can be issued immediately, day or night. This “EPO” is the first type of restraining order.
Christina: Can an EPO include all of the types of restraining orders available under the DVPA that we discussed in the prior video?
Ed: An EPO cannot grant all of the types of orders that are available under the DVPA, but an EPO can include a “Personal Conduct Order”, a “Stay-away Order”, a “Move-out Order”, a “Child Custody Order”, and a “No Guns or Other Firearms or Ammunition Order”.
Christina: How long will an EPO last?
Ed: An EPO will typically expire in just 5 days. The EPO will state the exact date on which it will expire. EPOs are short-term solutions. If you need a restraining order that is going to last longer than 5 days, then you need to complete a court form called a“Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order”, which goes by the number DV-100 and file it with the court. Typically, you are going to file the DV-100 with the court before the EPO expires so there will be no gap in the protective orders. I will talk about how to get the DV-100 form and how to fill it out a little later in this video.
Christina: What happens after I fill out my DV-100 and file it with the court clerk/
Ed: When you file the DV-100 with the court, the court will set a hearing date. The hearing may not be scheduled to occur for several weeks or more. If, after reading your DV-100, a judge believes one or more restraining orders need to be issued immediately for your protection or for the protection of children, then the court will issue “Temporary Restraining Orders” or “TROs”. A TRO is the second type of restraining order. It is different from an EPO. TROs are issued by the court after a judge has read your DV-100. TROs can be issued immediately by the court, in as little time as one day, without any hearing. TROs remain in effect from the time the judge reviews your DV-100 until the day of the hearing.
At the hearing, after the court has heard both sides, the court can issue regular restraining orders that can last up to five years. We will call these restraining orders that a judge issues after a hearing and which can last for up to five years, “ROs”, and they are the third type of domestic violence restraining order.
Christina: If my spouse has been abusive towards me, for example, say my spouse hits me, and I call the police, will he have to deal with criminal charges?
Ed: If you have been the victim of domestic violence and you call the police, the police will conduct an investigation. A police report may be made. The District Attorney, after reviewing the police report, may decide to file criminal charges against the perpetrator of the violence. The criminal case may be pursued by the District Attorney even if you do not want the criminal case to go forward. Some counties have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to domestic violence.
Christina: How do I start my application for a domestic violence restraining order?
Ed: 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 in this video, we will give you the name of the form and the form number. The form number appears at the top of each DV form.
Christina: How do I get these Judicial Council forms to fill out?
Ed: All of the forms we will be referring to in our discussion can be found in our Court Forms Database. Our Court Forms Database is full of fillable court forms. We give you all of the domestic violence forms for free. You can fill them out and print them and then file the forms 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 at the top of our website’s home page. That will take you to our Court Forms Database where you can find the forms you want. All of the domestic violence forms in the database beginning with the letters, “DV”, which stands for “domestic violence”. 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. After you watch this video, go to our website’s home page and use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database You will see how easy it is to find any form you want, including the DV-100, and fill it out.
Christina: How do I fill out the DV-100?
Ed: Again the first court form you are going to fill out to start your application for a domestic violence restraining orders is called a “Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order”, which is DV-100. This is what the DV-100 looks like. After you watch this video, go to our Court Forms Database and find the DV-100 form. Fill out the DV-100, print it, and sign it.
Christina: Do I have to fill out the DV-100 online? Can I just print it and then fill it out in pen?
Ed: You do not have to type up the information on the DV-100. 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.
Christina: What do I do about the “case number” box on the DV-100?
Ed: 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.
Christina: The DV-100 starts by telling me I have to fill out another form called a “CLETS-001” and give that form to the court clerk. What is the CLETS-001 form?
Ed: I’ll explain the CLETS-001 form in the next video. In this video, we are focusing on the DV-100 form. The DV-100 is a six-page 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 to be 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 check 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.
Christina: What do I do after I have reviewed all the types of orders listed on pages 2 through 4 and checked the boxes for the orders I want?
Ed: When you fill out the DV-100, you want to pay special attention to item #27 on page 5 of the form. 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 restraining orders 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”.
Christina: What if there were more than just one incident where the other party abused me or the children?
Ed: 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 called, “Description of Abuse”, which is DV-101, to describe additional incidents of abuse. You can find the DV-101 in our Court Forms Database.
Christina: What if I want the court to issue restraining orders immediately, preferably on the same day I file my DV-100 with the court clerk. What kinds of facts is the court looking for to justify the issuance of immediate restraining orders?
Ed: If you are asking for temporary restraining orders to be issued immediately, the court is looking for recent, serious 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.
Christina: Do I have to document the acts of abuse?
Ed: Your statements and testimony, if believed by the court, can be sufficient evidence to get the court to issue restraining orders. However, 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 your 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.
Christina: Are there additional court forms I need to fill out, besides the CLETS-001 that will be discussed in the next video?
Ed: Whether or not you have to fill out additional forms depends on the types of restraining orders you are requesting. 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 pays certain debts, or a request for attorney fees, then you are also going to need to fill out and file an Income & Expense Declaration, which is FL-150. You can find a blank, fillable FL-150 in our Court Forms Database. Please note, this is an “FL” form and not a “DV” form.
Christina: I’ve seen the FL-150 Income & Expense Declaration. It looks confusing.
Ed: The FL-150 can be a bit confusing. If you want help filling out the FL-150, we have a video that is part of our divorce “Declaration of Disclosure” package of videos. Our website is primarily about how to do your own divorce. We have lots of free divorce-related videos. A few of our divorce videos are instructional videos that will walk you through how to fill out certain key divorce court forms. Four of the divorce videos are included in one package of videos called the “Declaration of Disclosure” package. This package of four videos is available to purchase for a nominal charge. One of the videos explains how to fill out the FL-150, with step-by-step instructions. If you want to purchase this package of videos, look at our list of divorce videos and click on the “Declaration of Disclosure” package.
Christina: Are there other court forms that I will need to attach to the DV-100 besides the FL-150?
Ed: Again, it depends on the types of restraining orders you requested. 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”, which is DV-105. This form can be found in our Court Forms Database. If you are going to ask for child custody or visitation orders, we recommend you watch the child custody videos in our “Getting Educated” series of videos. Those videos will educate you on the differences between “legal custody” and “physical custody”, as well as other legal concepts related to child custody orders.
Christina: 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 other videos. You should watch the divorce videos that deal with contested divorces, particularly the videos in that section that pertain to obtaining temporary child custody orders at the beginning of a contested divorce case.
Ed: In the next video, we will discuss additional court forms that you will need to submit to the court along with your DV-100.