Welcome to FreeDivorce.com.
Christina: This is Christina.
Ed: This is Ed. Today we are going to talk about how to file your domestic violence initial forms with the court and then, how to serve that paperwork on the other party.
Christina: What do I do with my initial domestic violence court forms after I have filled them out?
Ed: After you have completed your initial Judicial Council forms as described in the last two videos, make three copies, and then take your documents to the Superior Court. The court clerk will give your forms to a judge. The judge will read your forms and decide whether or not to issue any or all of the temporary restraining orders that you requested. If the judge decides to issue any TROs, they will go into effect immediately and remain in effect until the hearing. The judge may decide the matter the same day you submit your papers to the court or the judge may decide the next business day. When you give your papers to the court clerk, ask the clerk if you should wait at the court for the judge to make a decision. Some courts will give you a phone number that you can call to find out when the judge has reviewed your paperwork and made a decision about the TROs.
Christina: What happens after the judge reads my paperwork?
Ed: After the judge has reviewed your paperwork and made a decision about whether or not any TROs should be issued, the court will assign a hearing date. The court will write in the date, time, and department for the hearing on the “Notice of Court Hearing”, which is DV-109. When you pick up your paperwork from the court clerk, make a note of the date and time of the hearing. Then, look over the Temporary Restraining Order form, which is DV-110, and see which TROs, if any, the judge issued.
Christina: How do I pick up my paperwork from the court after the judge has reviewed the paperwork and made decisions about the TROs?
Ed: In some counties, after the judge signs your paperwork, the court files the paperwork with the court clerk and gives you filed-endorsed copies. In other counties, after the judge signs your paperwork, you will need to pick up your paperwork from the Domestic Violence legal tech at the court and then take the original paperwork to the court clerk’s filing window and file that paperwork with the court clerk.
Christina: What happens after the judge has read my paperwork, made decisions about which TROs to issue, and my paperwork has been filed with the court clerk?
Ed: The court clerk will keep your original domestic violence paperwork and give you filed-endorsed copies. Keep a copy for yourself. If TRO’s were issued, you may want to give copies of the TROs, which is DV-110, to third parties. For example, if a TRO tells the other party to stay away from the children’s school, you may want to give a copy to the school.
A filed-endorsed copy of your domestic violence paperwork has to be served on the other party.
Christina: Why do I have to serve the other party with a copy of my paperwork?
Ed: The other party needs a copy so they know when and where the hearing will take place. The other party also needs a copy so they know which TROs have been issued by the court so they can comply with those orders.
Christina: What papers do I need to serve the other party with?
Ed: You have to serve the other party with copies of all of your domestic violence paperwork and also a blank, “Response To Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order”, which is DV-120. You can find a blank DV-120 in our Court Forms Database that you can print. You should also serve the other party with a DV-120-INFO, which is entitled, “How Can I Respond to a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order”. You can find the DV-120-INFO form in our Court Forms Database. If your DV-100 asked for financial related orders, such as child support or spousal support, then you will also need to serve the other party with a blank Income and Expense Declaration, which is FL-150. The court is going to need information from both you and the other party about your income and expenses if the court is going to make financial orders.
Christina: Can I serve all my paperwork on the other party myself?
Ed: No. You cannot serve your domestic violence paperwork on the other party by mail. A third party needs to personally hand the paperwork to the other party. You cannot serve your domestic violence paperwork on the other party yourself because you are a party to the proceeding. The paperwork has to be served by a third party. The sheriff or marshal will serve your domestic violence paperwork for free. If you want the sheriff or marshal to serve your paperwork, you will have to go to the sheriff or marshal’s office, give them copies of all the paperwork, and ask the sheriff or marshal to do the service of process.
Christina: Should I consider hiring a professional process server to serve the papers, even if the sheriff or marshal will serve the papers for free?
Ed: Yes. You may want to hire a professional process server or have a friend that is over 18 years old serve the paperwork on the other party. A professional process server or a friend will likely be able to serve the papers much quicker than the sheriff or marshal. If you have a TRO that tells your spouse to immediately move out of the family home, you are going to want your paperwork served on your spouse as soon as possible so they immediately comply with the TRO and move out. If you have a TRO that grants you custody of the children, you want the other party to know about that custody order as soon as possible. If you need a professional process server, just Google “process server near me”.
Christina: Do I need to worry about filing a Proof of Service form with the court?
Ed: If you have the sheriff or marshal serve your paperwork, the sheriff or marshal will fill out a Proof of Service form. If you use a professional process server, the process server will serve the papers, then prepare a proof of service form, and give you the form to file with the court. Some process servers will file the proof of service form with the court for you. If you have a friend or relative serve your paperwork, you will need to prepare a “Proof of Personal Service” form yourself, which is DV-200. After you fill out the DV-200, have your friend or relative date and sign the form after they have served the papers on the other party. You can find the DV-200 in our Court Forms Database. After your friend or relative signs the DV-200, make a copy. Take the original and the copy to the court and file it. When you go to the court hearing, be sure to bring your filed-endorsed copy of the DV-200 with you. Usually, at the hearing, the very first thing the judge wants to see is a completed copy of the DV-200.
Christina: Is there a time frame in which I have to serve my paperwork on the other party?
Ed: There is a time frame for when you have to serve your domestic violence paperwork on the other party. You have to serve the other party not later than a certain number of days before the hearing. Usually, the time is five days before the hearing. Sometimes the time frame will be shorter. The time frame will be set forth on page 3, item #6, of the “Notice of Court Hearing”, which is DV-109.
Christina: What if I am not able to get my paperwork served on the other party in time?
Ed: If you were unable to serve the other party on time, you can ask the court for a new hearing date and ask the court to continue or extend any TROs until the time of the new hearing. To ask for a new hearing date and extend the TROs, use the “Request to Continue Hearing”, which is DV-115. You will also need the “Order on Request to Continue Hearing”, which is DV-116. You can find both the DV-115 and the DV-116 in our Court Forms Database. You only need to fill out items #1 through #3 on the DV-116. The court will fill out the rest.
Christina: If I need a continuance of the hearing because I did not get my paperwork served on time, after I fill out the DV-115 and DV-116, what do I do?
Ed: After you have filled out the DV-115 and the DV-116, take these forms to the court and give them to the court clerk. A judge will review your forms and decide if a new hearing date should be set and if the TROs should be extended to that new date. When you give the DV-115 and the DV-116 to the court clerk, ask the court how you find out when the judge will review your paperwork so you will know when to come back to the court to pick up your paperwork. After the judge reviews your paperwork and signs the DV-116, review the DV-116 to see the new hearing date and to see if the judge extended the TROs to the new hearing date. You will then need to have a third party serve all of your domestic violence paperwork on the other party. The time frame in which service of process must be accomplished with be set forth in item #9 of the DV-116. After the other party has been served, you will need to file a completed “Proof of Personal Service”, DV-200, with the court.
Christina: In the next video, we will talk about violation of temporary restraining orders, how to cancel a hearing, and how to respond when someone serves you with an application for domestic violence restraining orders.