Also known as a protective order, the court typically issues a restraining order to protect an individual in a situation involving alleged stalking, harassment, domestic violence, or sexual abuse. Restraining orders vary, but they all establish who files them, the type of protection, and how the order is enforced. For example, when a victim applies for a restraining order, the court will order the abuser to stop specific actions or adhere to certain conditions. The abuser could be arrested and charged for failing to adhere to the court-given requirements.

If you want to apply for a restraining order against someone or have a restraining order filed against you, you need to seek the services of a qualified restraining order attorney. At the Restraining Order Law Firm, our attorneys can guide you on how to apply for or defend against a restraining order in Los Angeles, CA.

Elder Abuse Under California Law

Under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 15657.03, an elder is 64 years of age or older. This statute also defines an elder as someone aged between 18 and 64 with mental or physical impairments preventing them from carrying out their regular routines. A person is undergoing elder abuse if he/she falls into the above category and experiences abandonment, financial abuse, emotional abuse, and mental or physical abuse. A person could also suffer elder abuse through neglect, isolation, or being denied the required goods and services.

Categories Of Elder Abuse Restraining Orders

Elder abuse restraining orders can be categorized as follows:

Emergency Elder Abuse Restraining Order

Under Family Code 6250, if a victim faces violence or domestic abuse, the law enforcers can request the court impose an emergency restraining order against the abuser. The law only allows law enforcers to request emergency orders. Usually, the law enforcers must provide sufficient evidence that the victim is in immediate danger from the abuser. A judge can always issue emergency orders to the police whenever needed.

According to Family Code Section 6251, a victim can only secure an emergency order if he/she is at risk of being abused or abducted. This order can only be awarded if the victim's evidence convinces the judge or commissioner that the victim is in danger of domestic violence. The judge could also issue an emergency order only if he/she is convinced that its issuance will prevent the crime of elder abuse from being repeated or occurring.

The emergency order usually takes effect immediately and is valid for a period that does not exceed one week. Sometimes, the designated one week could be five or seven working days. Usually, the judge could order the abuser to vacate the house if the victim stays with them in the same place. If a person faces elder abuse at work, the court will issue an emergency restraining order, especially if the abuser is stalking them. The court issues an emergency order to protect the victim until it imposes a temporary restraining order against the abuser.

Temporary Elder Abuse Restraining Order

The purpose of a temporary restraining order is to prevent the repetition of elder abuse and to give the victim and their abuser sufficient time to address the cause of the abuse. The court could grant this order if the victim faces danger from the abuser before the court hearing. A temporary restraining order often takes 20 to 25 days. The judge will hear and decide the elder abuse case within this period.

A victim can file a temporary elder abuse order against an ex-spouse, cohabitant, or spouse.

Permanent Elder Abuse Restraining Order

The court could impose a permanent restraining order on an abuser even if he/she has not abused the victim physically. This order differs from other orders since it is permanent and does not expire after a particular duration. If an elder experiences financial abuse from someone, the court could be triggered to impose this order on the abuser. Financial abuse involves poor spending of an elderly person’s money, especially by a family member or a caregiver. A person could suffer elder financial abuse in the following ways:

  • When someone steals their property or money.
  • Someone faked their signature on bank documents.

A victim must provide evidence that the abuser committed certain acts against them for the court to impose a permanent restraining order on the abuser. The applicant must also prove that he/she has a relationship with the abuser before the court considers the permanent restraining order petition. The court could grant the permanent order only if it meets the following conditions:

  • The victim must be in a close relationship with the abuser, like a divorced partner or close relative; the victim has a child with the abuser, spouse, former or current. boyfriend or girlfriend, or current or former cohabitant.
  • The abuser threatened to or abused the victim.

A person could file a permanent restraining order if their abuser meets the above conditions. However, a victim could file for other restraining orders under the law if he/she does not qualify to file a permanent restraining order.

Importance of an Elder Abuse Restraining Order

You could wonder how a court-written document can protect a victim against abuse. When a person secures a restraining order as an elder, the court protects them from physical abuse, threats, and harassment. The court could also order the abuser to do the following to you:

  • Grant the victim exclusive care, control, or possession of any property the victim has.
  • Vacate and leave for the victim the house they jointly own.
  • Pay back the money the victim lost for not going to work and other costs like counseling fees, dental, or medical that stemmed from the abuse.
  • Transferring a shared phone account to the victim's name purposely to maintain the existing wireless phone number.
  • Not to call the victim directly or indirectly through the phone or other means.
  • To pay child support and alimony if the abuser and the victim are married.
  • Paying the applicant's attorney’s fee if the victim is unable to pay.
  • Granting the victim anything else that the court deems essential.

Application For Elder Abuse Restraining Order

Typically an elder experiencing abuse could be too weak or even ill to apply for a restraining order. The victim could request that another person apply for the order on their behalf. The people who can apply for a restraining order on behalf of the victim include:

  • A restraining order attorney.
  • The elder's trustee.
  • The elder's guardian or
  • Any other person allowed to do so by the law.

An application for a restraining order is usually free of charge; a sheriff or marshal will assist during the application. However, the applicant could incur costs if he/she opts for third parties or agencies to apply for the restraining order. Fortunately, if the lawsuit succeeds, the abuser will pay all the court fees.

Generally, the applicant must fill out Form EA-100 when applying for a restraining order. This is a requirement under the elder restraining statute. The elder must also fill out Form CLETS-001 for confidential CLETS information and complete items 1 and 2 of Form EA-109, a court-hearing notice.

The temporary restraining order Form EA-110 is another crucial form. The applicant must fill in items 1, 2, and 3 on Form EA-110. However, an elder could request Form MC-025 for extra attachments to give the judge a better insight into why he/she is applying for the elder abuse restraining order.

Applicants can access the above forms in the following areas:

  • From the court’s clerk.
  • In the local court library.
  • On the local court website.

Applicants can ask an expert to help them review the forms to ensure they have filled them out appropriately. In addition, a restraining order attorney will come in handy to ensure the elder has filled in the documents accordingly. Once the applicant completes filling out the forms, he/she produces several copies. One copy will be for the abuser, the other for the court, and the victim will keep the remaining documents.

Securing An Elder Abuse Order

If the individual against whom the victim is applying for an order resides in their county or another county, the applicant needs to visit the superior court where the elder abuse occurred. The victim could also visit the superior court where the abuser stays and apply for a restraining order. The applicant should consult the court clerk, and he/she will issue you a case number and the hearing date on the Notice of Hearing Form. The judge will examine their papers to determine the victim's eligibility for the order. If the applicant cannot reach the judge, he/she can ask the clerk when to return.

Upon applying for an emergency elder abuse order, the applicant will receive it within 24 hours. If the victim seeks a temporary order, he/she must return to the court and ask the clerk whether the judge issued the request. Form EA-110 indicates if the judge signed the TRO. The applicant must indicate on Form EA-109 if the court hearing date is set. The hearing date is also the date when the temporary order expires. The clerk will enter the order in the California Department of Justice’s database. The database will help law enforcers in the entire state of California to know that the restraining order exists. Unfortunately, only a few courts can store this information on the computer system. The applicant must check Form EA-110 and confirm whether the court permits them or the clerk to store restraining order details in the statewide computer system.

The victim should take a copy of the order and serve it to the abuser. In this case, the law does not allow the victim to serve their abuser with the documents. Instead, the elder should use a third party. Under California law, a third party or server must be a person over 18 years old and should not be protected by the order. The server's primary work is to deliver copies of all the forms the victim has applied for in court. The lawsuit cannot proceed if the abuser is not served with the documents. The applicant will make things hard for themselves if they fail to serve the abuser with copies of the restraining order. If your abuser does not receive the documents, the court will not issue a permanent restraining order.

It is recommended that an elder seek the services of law enforcers to serve copies to the abuser. The law enforcers will not charge anything, and they ensure that the abuser receives the copies officially. However, elders can also use servers if they do not want to engage law enforcement officers. Servers are private entities that assist applicants in delivering copies of the restraining order to the abuser, but at a cost.

The Procedure To Follow When Serving The Copies To The Abuser

Generally, judges always provide the date on the forms when the victim must deliver the copies to the abuser. The deadline is usually offered to provide the abuser with sufficient time to respond and prepare for the hearing. Therefore, the victim should check the court deadline for serving the abuser with copies of item 3 of Form EA-109. Additionally, the victim can confirm the days allowed on issue five of page two in the same form.

When the victim engages a server, he/she should follow up and ensure that the server serves the papers in person. The applicant must also send a blank Form EA-120 along with copies of the paperwork. Form EA-120 is for the response to the request for a dependent or elder abuse restraining order. In addition, the applicant should complete Form EA-120-INFO and Form EA-800. These forms assist the abuser in responding and preparing for the hearing.

The server should fill out Form EA-200 once the abuser receives the copies. Filling out Form EA-200 is evidence of personal service. It is recommended that the victim also secure this form from the server and file it with the court as evidence of service. Once the abuser secures Form EA-200, he/she cannot deny being served. Unfortunately, despite having the form, the applicant could have issues if the server fills it out inappropriately. Therefore, before filing Form EA-200 with the court, it is advisable to engage an expert to examine it. When submitting this evidence service form to the court clerk, the applicant should use the original copy, but before doing so, produce some photocopies. If the applicant files the original evidence of personal service after the date of the hearing, it will be inadmissible in court. It is, therefore, best to submit the form before the interview.

Failure To Serve The Abuser With Copies

A challenge could arise after securing a restraining order if the victim fails to deliver the copies to the abuser. This could hinder the abuser from preparing for the hearing, and the temporary restraining order (TRO) typically expires on the hearing date. The victim can request an extension of the TRO so the court can set a new hearing date. In this situation, the victim fills out Form EA-115. This is a request form to continue with the hearing. The applicant must also complete items 1 and 2 of Form EA-116 for Order on Request to Continue Hearing, then serve the judge with the form at the hearing or before evaluating and signing. These papers should be attached to other court forms after signing, including the temporary order, and then served on the abuser. The server must fill in the evidence of personal services and surrender a copy to the victim. The victim then files a copy with the court before the new date for the hearing.

Preparations For The Hearing

The elder should present evidence of violence and all the forms filed with the court when going to the court hearing. The documents that should be presented include the following:

  • Financial documents that prove the financial abuse.
  • Threatening letters or texts.
  • Damaged property.
  • Police reports.
  • Medical reports.
  • Photos.

If available, the applicant should also bring the witness statement and table Form EA-130 in court. The judge will make the final judgment after cross-examining the applicant and their evidence. The court could grant some of the orders requested or deny them. The judge could also postpone the lawsuit to give the abuser sufficient time to prepare.

Whether A Restraining Order Attorney Is Necessary

The law does not require hiring a restraining order attorney when applying for a restraining order. However, having an attorney makes it easy to convince the judge that the victim is in danger of abuse or other harm inflicted by the abuser. In addition, an attorney has probably helped countless people apply for restraining orders and understands all the requirements the victim must meet when seeking a restraining order.

Find a Restraining Order Attorney Near Me

A relative or a stranger can abuse an elder. For example, the typical perpetrators of elder abuse are caregivers (usually the elder’s relatives) or employees in homes for the elderly. You need to secure qualified legal representation if you have experienced elder abuse or if an elder files a restraining order against you. Separate court orders are available to protect victims depending on where your abuse happened.

Our Restraining Order Law Firm attorneys help victims pursue a user to seek protection or create a reasonable defense to fight a restraining order in Los Angeles, CA. With our decade of experience defending elders, seeking court-approved restraining orders, and fighting restraining orders, you can count on our support. We will examine your case and gather the necessary evidence. Contact us at 424-600-7691 to talk to one of our attorneys.