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Family Law - Domestic Violence

If you have been the victim of a violent incident or abuse at the hands of a family member, current or ex-spouse, current or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or partner, there are several legal actions you may take to prevent it from happening again.

Civil Standby
Anyone can call the Grass Valley Police (477-4600) or Nevada County Sheriff (265-1471) and ask them to be present for a limited time to keep the peace. This is most helpful when a person needs to collect clothing or property from their home after a domestic violence incident

Emergency Protective Order
If you ever need immediate help to avoid physical harm from an abuser, you should call 911. A police officer or sheriff responding to a domestic violence incident can call a judge (anytime, day or night) and ask for an emergency protective order that goes into effect immediately. An emergency protective order lasts for up to seven days. The emergency protective order can make the abusive person leave the home and keep that person away from you and your children, for up to seven days.

Since you need a police officer's assistance to get an emergency protective order, it is important to describe to him or her the abuser's actions and why you are afraid.
If you want protection for a longer period of time, you need a Restraining Order

Restraining Orders
A person who has suffered abuse Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act may seek a restraining order. Abuse is defined as:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury.

  2. Sexual assault.

  3. Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.

  4. Engaging in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting the other by mail or otherwise, disturbing the peace of the other party.

If you are the victim of any of these acts, you may request the Courts to issue a restraining order to prevent the recurrence of acts of abuse by a batterer. The act(s) must be recent, within thirty days, and the batterer must be a spouse/ex-spouse, boyfriend/ girlfriend, ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend, someone with whom the victim has or has had a dating relationship, an immediate family member (mother, father, in-laws, siblings, adult children), or a person with whom a party has a children together. Any other victim of these acts with another relationship to the batterer may file a civil harassment protective order.

 Community Resources
- Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Coalition
530 272-2046

- Tahoe Women's Services
Truckee: 530 582-9117
Kings Beach:  530 547-7804

Civil Harassment
A person who has suffered harassment may seek a civil harassment protective order. Harassment is defined as:

  1. Unlawful violence.

  2. A credible threat of violence or

  3. A knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person and that serves no legitimate purpose.

Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 527.6(b), the course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the victim. The restraining order can include restraints on personal conduct by the batterer, order the batterer to stay away from the victim's home/work and/or children's school, and other miscellaneous orders. There is no requirement that there be a relationship between the victim and a batterer in order to obtain the protective order. There must, however, be recent acts of harassment.

Domestic Violence Resources