How To Terminate Or Modify A Restraining Order

Whether you have had a restraining order taken out against you or requested a restraining order from the California family court system, once implemented, the only way a restraining order can be modified or lifted is with the permission of a judge. You will need to provide strong evidence that there is good cause to modify or terminate a restraining order for the judge to return a decision in your favor.

Common Types of Restraining Orders

There are several types of restraining orders that can be implemented according to the Judicial Branch of California. These include:

  • Dependent adult or elder abuse restraining orders – These protect individuals who are 65 or older between the ages of 18 and 64 who have physical or mental incapacities from those who have neglected or abused them.
  • Workplace violence restraining orders – Your employer may request a workplace violence restraining order if you are an employee who is being threatened, stalked, harassed, or abused by someone in your work environment.
  • Domestic violence restraining orders – These protect you if you have been abused by a family member or someone else you have a close relationship with.
  • Civil harassment restraining orders – These protect you if you are being threatened, abused, stocked, or harassed by someone you do not have a relationship with.

With domestic violence restraining orders, there are also three separate types under the California Code of Civil Procedure – CCP § 527.6. These include:

  • Emergency protective order (EPO) – EPOs are issued on an emergency basis if the complainant or a child is in immediate danger or at risk of being kidnapped.
  • Temporary ex parte restraining orders (TRO) – TROs are orders that are only in place until the court hearing date.
  • Final restraining orders – A final restraining order is put in place after both the complainant and respondent have presented their case during the court hearing and the judge determines a restraining order is appropriate.

When You Could End or Modify an Existing Restraining Order in CA

You may be able to modify or terminate a restraining order if you can demonstrate specific requirements have been met. For example, you may want to modify your restraining order to include additional protected persons or modify the conditions, such as allowing the respondent to spend time with their children.

Factors the Court System Considers When Evaluating Your Termination or Modification Request

You can expect the court system to take several factors into account when determining whether your restraining order should be modified or terminated. Some of the factors that may be considered include:

  • Both parties’ relationship
  • Whether the complainant is scared of the defendant
  • Whether the defendant committed other violent acts
  • If the defendant has tested positive for alcohol or drug use
  • Whether the defendant is attending any type of self-improvement courses, such as domestic violence counseling or anger management
  • Whether the defendant was found in contempt of court for violating the restraining order

How to Remove or Modify a Restraining Order

If you are interested in modifying or terminating a restraining order, you should:

  • Complete a Form FL – 300 and other necessary court documents
  • File these documents with the court
  • Ensure the party is served Form FL–300
  • Submit your restraining order modification request

What Happens When a Restraining Order is Terminated

When a restraining order is terminated, the stipulations in place will no longer apply. This means if your restraining order required the defendant to stay away from your home, cease all communication attempts, or prevent them from being around your shared children, these rules will no longer be in place. The defendant will also no longer be at risk of being arrested if they violate the terms of the existing restraining order. For that reason, it may be wise to consult with legal counsel who can ensure you understand your rights and offer the sound advice you need when you need it. A family law attorney may be able to help.