YES. The answer to the question of whether or not a restraining order is considered public information is almost always going to be yes. Unlike criminal cases, which can be sealed or expunged, civil records such as restraining orders cannot be hidden from the public. Both criminal and civil courts can issue restraining orders, and the implications are similar in both cases. It’s important to note that a criminal charge isn’t always connected to a restraining order. Yet, if you’re the one who filed the order, you can file criminal charges against the other party. Remember, violating a restraining order is treated as a criminal offense in all situations.
Restraining Orders in Los Angeles County
A restraining order is a legal tool designed to protect individuals from potential harm or harassment. If you’re in Los Angeles County, California, it’s crucial to understand what a restraining order is and how it works. Here’s a detailed breakdown:
- Definition of a Restraining Order: A restraining order is a court-issued protection order. It’s designed to keep one person, known as the restrained party, away from another person, referred to as the protected party. This order is typically issued when there’s a threat of harassment or abuse from the restrained party.
- Public Record Status: A restraining order is generally considered a public record. This means that it’s accessible to the public, although strict confidentiality standards are in place to protect the identities and sensitive information of family members involved.
- Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order: In Los Angeles County, you must have or have had close personal contact with the individual you want to be restrained to obtain a domestic violence restraining order. This could include relationships such as being married, domestic partners, divorced, separated, dating, or otherwise closely involved.
- Temporary Restraining Orders: Temporary restraining orders are also public records. These are typically issued as an immediate form of protection until a full court hearing can be held. Following the completion of a hearing for a temporary restraining order and a hearing for a permanent restraining order, law enforcement officials in Los Angeles County are granted access to these orders.
- Protective Orders: A protective order is a specific type of restraining order that is a matter of public record unless it has been classified for some reason. This is similar to any other court order or document. Protective orders are typically issued in cases involving domestic violence, stalking, or harassment.
In a way, Restraining orders are court orders that can protect you from somebody who is abusing, threatening, stalking, or harassing you. Depending on your situation, it will order this person to stop:
- Contacting, calling, or sending you any messages (text, e-mail)
- Attacking, hitting, or battering you
- Stalking you
- Threatening you
- Sexually assaulting you
- Harassing you
- Demolishing your personal property.
Can You Look Up Restraining Orders Online?
If you’re wondering about the accessibility of restraining orders online, here’s what you need to know:
- Online Access to Restraining Orders: The ability to view online court documents regarding restraining orders is governed by state and federal laws. This means that not all information about restraining orders is readily available online.
- Confidential or Sealed Cases: Via OCA Protective Order Registry, you will not have access to any information classified as confidential or under seal. This means that if a case has been deemed confidential or sealed by the court, you won’t be able to access it online.
- Public Access to Court Records: Despite the restrictions, most court records, including those related to restraining orders, should be available online. This is because court records are generally considered public information.
- Access for Involved Parties: If the public doesn’t have access to the case but is a party to it, you still have access. This means that if you’re directly involved in the case, you should be able to access the records even if they’re not available to the general public.
- Visibility Depending on the type of Restraining Order: The visibility of the record depends on the type of restraining order. There are primarily two categories of restraining orders: interim protective orders & permanent restraining orders.
- Temporary Orders of Protection: An interim order will often remain in effect until a full court hearing can be held. During this time, the order is in effect, and the details of the order should be accessible to the involved parties.
- Permanent Restraining Orders: If a court hearing leads to the issuance of a permanent restraining order, this becomes part of the public record unless otherwise classified by the court.
- Specifics for Los Angeles County, California: These rules apply in Los Angeles County, like the rest of California. However, each county may have its own specific procedures for accessing court records. It’s always a good idea to check with the local court clerk or a legal professional in your area to understand the specifics.
What Happens at a Restraining Order Hearing in LA County?
In Los Angeles County, a restraining order hearing is a critical legal process where both the plaintiff and the defendant present their cases. Here’s what typically happens:
- The plaintiff bears the burden of proof: It’s up to the plaintiff to prove that a final restraining order should be issued. This involves offering testimony, calling witnesses, and providing documentary evidence of abuse or harassment.
- The defendant has a chance to defend themselves: The defendant can also present testimony, call witnesses, and produce documents to counter the plaintiff’s claims. All of these will be subject to cross-examination.
- The court rules and evidentiary standards apply: The trial for a final restraining order is governed by court rules and evidentiary standards, ensuring a fair and just process.
How Do You Get a Restraining Order Hearing in LA County,
In Los Angeles County getting a restraining order hearing involves the following steps:
- Present your side of the story: The hearing is your opportunity to present your side of the story to the court.
- The court may inquire about an agreement: If both you and the defendant are attending at the hearing, the judge may ask if you and the defendant are able to reach an agreement regarding a restraining order.
- A hearing will be held If you disagree, a hearing will be held: If you disagree, the court will hold a hearing where you and the defendant will get a chance to tell your sides of the story.
- The court will hear any witnesses: The court will also hear any witnesses you bring to support your case.
What Happens if a Restraining Order Is Violated in LA County?
In LA County, California, violating a restraining order has severe consequences:
- Legal penalties: A violation of a restraining order that occurs knowingly and willfully prior to the expiration of the appointed court date is considered a felony that can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail, a penalty of up to $1,000, or both.
- Legal counsel is advised: If you are suspected of breaking a restraining order, it is typically a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced restraining order attorney due to the severe repercussions that can result from a conviction.
How Will a Restraining Order Affect Your Life in California?
In California, a restraining order filed against you can significantly impact your life:
- Impact on employment: One of the first things that might be going through your mind is whether the order will impact your present or future work, especially whether it will show up on background checks.
- Criminal background checks: A review of your criminal history could make you less qualified for some employment. A check of your background can potentially turn up information on you breaking the terms of a restraining order.
- Behavior changes: After receiving a restraining order, your behavior is expected to conform to the specific terms of the order that was given to you. As a direct consequence of this, the influence will most likely be felt more strongly when submitting applications for positions that demand comprehensive background checks.
Types of Restraining Orders
The restraining order type determines whether the public can view the record. There are two primary categories of restraining orders, each of which can be subdivided into various subcategories. The two main types of restraining orders are temporary ex parte orders of protection and final orders of protection. A temporary order typically lasts until there can be a full court hearing. This is usually between 20 to 25 days after the order is filed. If the case is taken to court, the judge may decide to impose a restraining order that is effective indefinitely. Within these two types of restraining orders are four individual categories, including:
- Domestic violence restraining order A domestic: Violence restraining order is a court order that serves to guard individuals against abuse or threats of abuse from someone they had an intimate relationship with. You may ask for a domestic violence restraining order if the person abused you and you had a close relationship, such as being married, domestic partners, divorced, separated, dating, or otherwise closely involved.
- Workplace violence restraining order: California law allows the courts to make orders to protect an employee from suffering from unlawful violence or credible threats of violence in the workplace, and these types of restraining orders serve to put those protections in place.
- Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order: The type of order is reserved for either an elderly or dependent person, which is defined as an individual above the age of 65 or a dependent adult that is between the ages of 18 and 64 who has disabilities that stop them from carrying out normal daily activities. This serves to protect these individuals from being abused and usually involves members of their families.
- Civil harassment restraining order: This type of restraining order is a specific court order that helps protect individuals from violence, stalking, harassment, or threats of violence.
In California, if a permanent restraining order is issued, the abuser would be forced to relinquish any guns they might have to law enforcement or a state-recognized gun dealer. This added safety measure is meant to protect the individuals seeking help for abuse.
However, if the restraining order remains temporary and never progresses into the permanent category, the record would only be visible to law enforcement officers. There are times when this is not the case, and restraining orders that should have been expunged appear on public records. In cases like these, it’s important to present your case positively to work towards the best possible outcome.
Firearm Possession and Restraining Orders in Los Angeles County, California
In LA County, California, the laws surrounding firearm possession are stringent, especially when it comes to individuals who have been served with a restraining order. Here are some key points to understand:
- Restraining Order and Firearm Ownership: Most restraining orders prohibit the restrained person from owning or possessing a firearm for as long as the order is in effect. This means that if you have been served with a restraining order in Los Angeles County, you are typically required to surrender any firearms you own or possess.
- Restraining Order and Firearm Purchase: In addition to prohibiting firearm ownership, restraining orders generally also prevent the restrained person from purchasing a gun. This means that if you’re under a restraining order, you are not allowed to buy a firearm during the duration of the order.
- Violation of Prohibitions: Violating these prohibitions is a serious offense. Most jurisdictions, including Los Angeles County, state that a person who violates these prohibitions will face criminal charges. This could lead to penalties such as fines, imprisonment, or both.
- Firearm Relinquishment: In LA County, if you’re served with a restraining order and you own firearms, you’re required to sell the firearms to a licensed gun dealer, turn them over to law enforcement, or store them with a licensed gun dealer. This must be done within a certain timeframe after the order is issued.
- Proof of Compliance: After you’ve surrendered your firearms, you must provide proof of compliance to the court. This usually involves filing a receipt from the law enforcement agency or gun dealer who took possession of the firearms.
- Duration of the Prohibition: The prohibition on owning or possessing firearms typically lasts for the duration of the restraining order. In some cases, the court may decide to extend this prohibition even after the restraining order has expired.
- Exceptions: There are very few exceptions to these rules. For example, some law enforcement officers or military personnel may continue carrying firearms while on duty, even if they have been served with a restraining order. However, these exceptions are rare and are granted on a case-by-case basis.
Celebrity’s Cases Of Restraining Orders In Hollywood
navigating the limelight comes with its fair share of advantages, from adulation by millions to a life of glamour. However, the celebrity life isn’t always as glittering as it seems. A darker side of fame emerges when stars find themselves dealing with overzealous fans who overstep boundaries, blurring the line between admiration and intrusion.
Here are some of the Hollywood celebrities who have had to take out restraining orders, including Alyson Hannigan, Laurence Fishburne, Taylor Swift, Christina Perri, Camille Grammer, Chris Brown and Rihanna, The Game, Kat Von D, Nicole Richie, Eva Marcille, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack White and Karen Elson, Terrence Howard and Michelle Ghent, and Tyra Banks.
Pop singer Lana Del Rey has obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against an alleged stalker who stole her car.
Ashley Johnson has filed a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend after a string of alleged abuses against the actress and her family.
Keanu Reeves was granted a restraining order against a man who has allegedly been stalking the actor for some time.