Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

In California, parties may request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) through the family law court system. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is distinct from a Civil Harassment Restraining Order in that it pertains to individuals with whom one has had a romantic, intimate relationship, or to whom one is married.

Domestic violence encompasses a broad spectrum of abusive behaviors, including physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological, or technological harm, as well as threats or coercive tactics. The incidence of DVROS is on the rise, a trend Ms. Maknouni often describes as the “silent pandemic.” Data reveals that, on average, nearly 20 individuals are subjected to physical abuse by an intimate partner every minute in the United States, cutting across all socioeconomic statuses, ethnic backgrounds, ages, and genders. Typically, the perpetrator is someone familiar and close to the victim, such as a friend, neighbor, or a respected community member.

However, it is crucial to recognize situations where accusations of domestic violence are made against significant others without substantial evidence. In these instances, Ms. Maknouni robustly and unequivocally defends her clients’ rights in court.

To initiate the DVRO process in California, the individual seeking protection must first file a petition with the Court for a temporary DVRO against the individual being restrained. Following this, the court schedules a hearing, at which point the restrained party is required to be served. It is customary for the first hearing to be continued to a different date, providing the restrained individual an opportunity to obtain legal counsel. During the hearing, both parties have the opportunity to argue their case, offering personal testimony or that of witnesses, and presenting evidence such as photographs or documents. As DVRO proceedings take place in family courts without a jury, the judge alone makes the determinative ruling. After considering all testimonies, evidence, and witness statements, the judge decides whether to convert the temporary DVRO into a permanent order.

Whether you are the protected party or are in the process of defending against a DVRO, establishing a permanent DVRO can substantially influence numerous facets of your life, including employment. Additionally, it has considerable implications for arrangements related to child custody and visitation, underscoring the deep effect these orders possess on the structure of family relationships.

The gravity of these cases warrants serious consideration. Handling DVRO cases requires meticulous care and strategic planning due to their delicate nature and profound impact on the clients involved. Ms. Maknouni is acutely aware of the emotional difficulty her clients face when recounting their experiences of abuse, or when they are falsely accused. She ensures they are thoroughly prepared and well-informed about the legal process, including the kinds of questions they may encounter. Ms. Maknouni’s experience in both obtaining and defending DVROs has led to successful outcomes, demonstrating her commitment to protecting her clients’ rights and well-being.

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