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Who Can Seek a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, and Against Whom?

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Any domestic violence victim may seek a Domestic Violence (DV) Restraining Order, so long as their relationship with the abuser falls into one of the following categories:

  • Spouses -- current and former spouses
  • Cohabitants -- persons who regularly reside or previously regularly resided in the same household.
  • Dating/Engagement Relationship -- a person with whom the respondent is having or had a "dating or engagement relationship."
  • Co-parents -- a person with whom the respondent has had a child.
  • Children -- child of the abuser/ respondent
  • Blood Relatives -- any other person related to the abuser/ respondent by blood to the 2nd degree (mother, father, brother, sister, grandparents, etc.) (California Family Code, Section 6211) Opens new window

NOTE:  Under California law, a "dating relationship" means "frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations." (California Family Code, Section 6210) Opens new window

A dating relationship is further defined as a "serious courtship between two individuals who have or had a reciprocally amorous and increasingly exclusive interest in one another, and shared expectation of the growth of that mutual interest, that has endured for such a length of time and stimulated such frequent interactions that the relationship cannot be deemed to have been casual." (See Oriola v. Thaler, (2000) 84 Cal. 4th at 412).


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