Can I Renew an Existing Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

Can I Renew an Existing Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

The family court's could grant initial restraining orders, protecting victims of domestic violence, for a period of up to 5 years under family code §6345(a). This includes personal conduct orders, stay-away orders, and residence exclusion orders. What happens if your initial restraining order is about to expire and you continue to have concerns that your ex spouse or ex significant other might resurface and threaten or physically hurt you? What if your ex has stalker propensity? Those types of people that would resurface once they know that the restraining order you obtained against them 5 years ago is about to expire?

Under family code §6345(a), restraining orders may be renewed for either 5 years or permanently, without a showing of any further abuse since the issuance of the original order. Family Code §6345(a). In other words, you may request a renewal of the current restraining order even if there has not been any further incidents between you and the perpetrator since the initial restraining order was issued.

In Avalos v. Perez, the court of appeal held that a trial court should have renewed a restraining order that was to expire after 2 years for a full 5 years, instead of only an additional 2 years, pursuant to family code §6345(a). Avalos v. Perez (2011) 196 CA4th 773, 127 CR3d 106. In that case, a woman who obtained a 2 year restraining order in 2008 against her ex boyfriend petitioner for a 5 year extension of that order in 2010. The woman alleged that her boyfriend now knew where she worked and that she feared he might initiate contact with her. The granted the woman's renewal request but only issued it for 2 years. The woman then appealed. The court of appeal held that the trial court should have renewed the restraining order for a full 5 years, pursuant to family code §6345(a).

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive former CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail or visit our website at

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