A Restraining Order is an Order from the Court that restrains a person from doing
certain acts that the court is prohibiting. It is a civil procedure, meaning that
in most cases, you must submit a request to the court asking for a Temporary Restraining
Order, and a date for a hearing where the Order will be made permanent.
You can do this yourself or you may consult an attorney. Once an order is in effect, law enforcement agencies will enforce violations of the order as a criminal matter. In Santa Clara County, you may request assistance from the people at the advocate agency called Next Door.
The first step in obtaining a restraining order at Next Door is a session with a client
advocate. If you decide to follow through with the restraining order process, you
then make a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) appointment. Your TRO appointment will
take approximately 2 hours. A legal advocate will help you fill out the proper forms
and write up a declaration (a description of the abuse). The legal advocate can assist
you with completing the paperwork, but cannot give you any legal advice. If you need
legal advice, you must contact an attorney. Next Door will fax-file your paperwork
with the court. Once the Judge signs the TRO, and the clerk assigns a hearing date
and case number, the TRO will be faxed back to Next Door for you to pick up.
If you wish, someone from Next Door can accompany you to your hearing to provide information and support.
Next Door charges a fee, depending on your income and family size, ranging from $40 to a complete waiver of the fee. No one will be turned away due to their inability to pay.
You may be eligible for Next Door's Restraining Order and Court Accompaniment services if you:
- Have been a victim of domestic violence including physical abuse or threats of violence by a spouse or former spouse, someone you have dated or have a child with, or is a member of your immediate family.
- Live in Santa Clara County.
- Cannot afford an attorney.
- Are willing and able to represent yourself throughout the court process.
What to Bring to Your TRO Appointment:
- Notes about the most recent incidents of violence, including dates, police reports, photos, and any other evidence.
- Your 3 most recent paycheck stubs, or proof of public benefits.
- Prior court papers if you have had another case with the abuser, such as a restraining order, a divorce or a paternity suit.
Next Door Contact Information
Next Door: Solutions to Domestic Violence
234 E. Gish Road, Suite 200
San Jose, CA 95112
24-Hour Emergency Hotline – 408-279-2962
24-Hora Línea de Crisis – 408-279-2962
Other Domestic Violence Resources
National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
RAINN Hotline – 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
Visit California Courts: Legal Self-Help Center for additional information and resources regarding domestic violence. Available in English and Spanish.