Category Archives: Restraining Order

How Far Is Too Far When Considering a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

How Far Is Too Far When Considering a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order provides significant legal protections for you and your children. These legal orders are specifically for people with whom you have had a close relationship, including family, in-laws, current or former dating partners, current or former spouses, and others.

Filing for a domestic violence restraining order against someone is a big step that should be considered carefully. It is often an emotional and traumatic time, and numerous factors and circumstances can cloud your thinking. How do you know when it’s time to obtain legal protection? Or, how far is too far when considering a domestic violence restraining order?

Defining Domestic Violence

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as follows:

“Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological, or technological actions or threats of actions or other patterns of coercive behavior that influence another person within an intimate partner relationship. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”

Accordingly, you should consider a domestic violence restraining order when you are subjected to behaviors that:

  • Intimidate
  • Manipulate
  • Humiliate
  • Isolate
  • Frighten
  • Terrorize
  • Coerce
  • Threaten
  • Blame
  • Hurt
  • Injure
  • Wound

Such behavior toward you or your children is sufficient grounds for filing to obtain an order of protection. However, keep in mind that the court will need proof that some sort of threatening behavior has affected or is likely to affect you and/or your children.

How Far Is Too Far?

Asking, “How far is too far?” or “How much should I put up with?” before considering a domestic violence restraining order is not necessarily the right question. When you or your child experience abuse or feel threatened, that is the time to act. Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger for immediate assistance with obtaining a restraining order.

You can also get immediate assistance by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

How to File for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Certified CA Family Law Specialist Judy Burger can walk with you through the difficult circumstances that prompt filing for a domestic violence restraining order in California. She will help you construct the necessary petition to present to the court. Imagine drawing a blueprint for a court testimony – your petition should contain similar elements, including:

  1. Specific details of the threats or abuse to you or your child. Record all the dates, locations, and other facts you can remember.
  2. Evidence that backs up your petition, like emails, texts, pictures, social media posts, damaged property, or physical marks on your/your child’s body.
  3. Witness or expert statements that back your petition, like doctor’s notes, photos, witness testimonies, and more, in written or digital media.
  4. Ask for what kind of help you need. What do you need the order to accomplish? Stop the abuse, prohibit contact, protect your children, provide support, or other measures.

File the Petition

Turn in your request to the court. A judge may also grant you an ex parte (emergency) hearing and order of protection in certain circumstances.

Serve Notice

The party from whom you seek protection will be served an official notice of the pending court action and any ex parte orders against them.

Appear in Court

You and the other party appear in court to present your cases to a family law judge. He or she will issue orders accordingly.

Get Help from a Certified Family Law Specialist

Attorney Judy Burger can help you more in a confidential consultation. She knows how to take immediate steps to protect you and your privacy and can offer more guidance about what you should do next. Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger at the location nearest you in North, Central, and Southern California to get the help you need to stop the abuse.

 

Can a Restraining Order in California Prevent Me From Getting a Job?

Can a Restraining Order in California Prevent Me From Getting a Job?

A restraining order is a legal order that prohibits a person from contacting or coming close to another person. In California, restraining orders can be obtained by individuals who have experienced domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or other forms of abuse. While a restraining order can provide much-needed protection, it can also have significant consequences.

Can a restraining order in California prevent me from getting a job? Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger addresses this important question.

Restraining Orders and Employment Background Checks

Under the California Fair Chance Act of 2018 (recently modified), employers are prohibited from inquiring about criminal history information or disseminating it in any form or manner before making a conditional job offer, including through background checks, internet searches, or other means.

However, the California Fair Chance Act Overview FAQ states:

“After offering you a job, employers are allowed to conduct a criminal history check, but the law requires an individualized assessment about your conviction history. That means that an employer can’t take back the job offer without considering the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job you are seeking. If the employer decides to take back the job offer based on your criminal history, they must tell you so in writing, provide a copy of any conviction history report they relied on, and give you at least five business days to respond.”

When an employer conducts a background check and discovers that you have a restraining order against you, it can impact your ability to get a job. Potential employers may view these orders as a red flag, indicating that you may have a history of violence or harassment. As a result, the employer may choose not to hire you, even if you are otherwise qualified for the job.

It is worth noting that under California law, employers cannot discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their status as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. This means that an employer cannot refuse to hire you simply because you have an order of protection against someone else.

Types of Restraining Orders

In California, there are four types of restraining orders that a person can obtain:

  1. Domestic Violence 
  2. Civil Harassment 
  3. Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse 
  4. Workplace Violence 

Of these types of restraining orders, only a workplace violence restraining order is specifically related to employment. An employer obtains a workplace violence restraining order against an employee or former employee who has threatened violence or caused harm in the workplace. If an employer obtains a workplace violence restraining order against an employee, it can seriously impact the employee’s ability to find employment in the future.

What to Do If You Have a Restraining Order

If you have a restraining order against you in California, it is important to understand how it can impact your ability to get a job. While a restraining order may not prevent you from being hired in all cases, it can be a factor employers consider when hiring.

If you have a restraining order against you, it is important to be sure that a potential employer is following the law when considering you for employment. Be upfront with potential employers about your situation and seek legal advice if you believe you are unfairly discriminated against during the application or hiring process.

CA Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger can explain more about restraining orders, how they work, what to do if you need one or have one, how to have one modified or removed, and more in a confidential consultation. Contact our office at one of the eight locations nearest you.

 

Emergency Child Custody Issues in California

Emergency Child Custody Issues in California

Petitions for changes in child custody agreements can be filed with the court when circumstances change and new arrangements are needed. These requests are scheduled for the next available hearing on the family court’s calendar. However, an ex parte petition can be filed immediately when you encounter emergency child custody issues in California

Under California law, Family Code 3064 allows the court to temporarily grant an emergency change in custody without waiting on a full hearing under certain circumstances. This is a short-term solution to protect the safety and welfare of the child while more permanent arrangements are examined. Ex parte orders can influence any final custodial orders issued by the court.

When would such actions be necessary? CA Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger reviews some possible scenarios when emergency child custody issues can be handled through ex parte hearings. She can explain more and review your situation thoroughly in a confidential consultation at one of our offices.

What Justifies An Emergency Child Custody Petition?

California Family Courts typically allow at least a 15-day notice to involved parties before scheduling a hearing about child custody matters. However, when a true emergency threatens a child’s health and safety, the court can issue immediate orders to prevent harmful actions. Ex parte orders, sometimes called “emergency orders,” may be granted in select situations, including:

  • Child abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • A parent’s physical or mental health condition
  • A parent’s arrest for drug use, drunk driving, or another serious crime
  • A sex offender in the home

Your request for an emergency child custody order must include definite evidence that such conditions exist and are a direct threat to the child. Heresy or opinions are not sufficient grounds for the court to immediately remove a child from another parent’s custody. Credible witnesses, photos, videos, text messages, or police reports are solid proof that the child is in danger and emergency orders are necessary to protect the child’s interests.

How Do I Request an Emergency Child Custody Action in CA?

​In addition to demonstrating a clear and imminent danger to the child’s welfare, you must provide several other items of information in your ex parte petition. These include the following:

  • Legal request form
  • Identity and contact information for the other parent and/or their attorneys
  • Current child custody, visitation, and support orders
  • Any previous requests or orders on this or similar matters
  • Reasons why the other parent should not be notified

Remember, you must provide sufficient evidence demonstrating the harm that could be suffered without the requested emergency custody orders. This is also a temporary solution. A formal hearing with both parents may be scheduled for a later date and other orders may be issued as a result.

It is critical that you adhere to California law in all matters relating to your child and custody matters. Emotional reactions to protect your child that violate the law or existing custody orders can complicate your case. Making decisions under stress can place you on the wrong side of the law.

Contact a California Certified Family Law Specialist to Help You Protect Your Children

Consult with CA Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger immediately if you suspect an emergency custody action is necessary. She can act quickly to file an ex parte hearing petition and the necessary paperwork while helping you gather the required evidence to support your request. As a Certified Family Law Specialist in California, she can help you follow the law and protect your child.

Ms. Burger is not intimidated by difficult or high-conflict custody matters. She firmly believes that children must be protected from abusive, inappropriate, or other dangerous behavior and actions by parents or others. The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger will not rest until your child is safe. We will also work with you to completely resolve this matter in the best interests of your child and family.

Contact one of our eight offices in California today to discuss emergency child custody issues with a Certified Family Law Specialist who is on your side.

Ex Parte Hearings and Emergency Orders in CA Family Court

Ex Parte Hearings and Emergency Orders in CA Family Court

Ex Parte Hearings are sometimes called “Emergency Hearings” because a court mostly hears them in emergency situations. California Family Court judges may issue legal orders as a result of these hearings to protect a child, prevent personal injuries, and for other time-sensitive matters.

California Family Law Attorney Judy L. Burger and her team can represent you and handle the intricate paperwork required for ex parte hearings. Learn more about these proceedings and when “emergency orders” may be warranted.

What Is an Ex Parte Hearing?

Ex Parte is Latin for “from one party.” This describes the request from a single party to communicate and present evidence to the court with little or no notice to other involved parties. Under California law, such hearings are allowed when significant harm is imminent and immediate measures are required to prevent it. This threat of harm may supersede the normal right of the other party to be present and hear the charges or allegations against them.

These hearings are not for simple or even heated arguments or disputes. A pattern of bickering or disagreements is not enough to request an ex parte hearing. There must be an imminent threat of harm where emergency action is required.

In such an emergency, the court may elect to hear the presentation and issue legally binding orders ex parte. This may be in the presence of both or only in the presence of a single party. If both parties are not present, these court orders are completely lawful and enforceable, just as if the opposing litigant were present.

When Would I Request an Ex Parte Hearing?

​An ex parte hearing in CA family court may be requested by anyone who believes there is an imminent reason for a court order and can provide sufficient proof for needing an emergency order. Common reasons to request an ex parte hearing include the following:

  • To Protect a Child: Ex parte emergency orders are typically granted when there are allegations of child abuse, neglect, a threat of abduction, or other similar reasons when a child would need legal protection from serious harm.
  • To Prevent Physical Harm: Ex parte orders can be granted to protect an adult from possible domestic violence or other causes of imminent and serious harm. Preventing a personal injury from a previously violent person is a justifiable cause for an ex parte emergency order of protection.
  • To Prevent Financial Harm: Ex parte orders can also be requested if significant financial harm is imminent, threatened, or otherwise could cause serious loss to the victims. An example would be when one party claims a spouse is willfully destroying joint-owned property or marital assets, leaving the first party without a means of support.

​The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can help you obtain ex parte orders in family court when imminent danger or other pressing needs arise. Contact the office nearest you for more information and to schedule a consultation.

How Do I Request an Ex Parte Hearing in CA?

​Several legal forms are required for requesting an ex parte hearing in California family court. You must also provide evidence for your request that the court will hear before granting any requests. Following is some of the information required:

  • Formal request for a hearing
  • Identity and contact information for involved parties and/or their attorneys
  • Reasons for an ex parte hearing
  • Any previous requests or orders on this or related matters
  • Any existing child custody, support, and visitation orders
  • Any notice made to the other party of this action or reasons why the opposing party should not be notified

Applicants must provide a full and detailed description of recent incidents showing the threat of or actual harm to a child, other person, or property. The evidence must demonstrate the harm that could be suffered without the requested emergency orders in effect.

A family court may grant ex parte orders on the evidence of filed paperwork alone, or they may request some oral testimony or other evidence.

Get Help from a California Certified Family Law Specialist

Judy L. Burger is a CA Certified Family Law Specialist with extensive experience in ex parte hearings and related matters. She can explain more in a confidential consultation and take swift action to request such hearings when warranted. Contact the closest location of The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger when threatening domestic circumstances arise and you need advice and assistance.