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Power of restraining orders

A California resident who is being physically or sexually abused, threatened, harassed or stalked may get a restraining order against the person who is allegedly initiating the damage or threat. The order is sometimes called a protective order and is issued by a court.

A restraining order makes it illegal for a person to go certain places or do certain things. If the restrained person violates the terms of the order, he or she may be punished with jail, fines or both. Personal conduct orders prevent the restrained person from contacting, attacking, destroying the property or disturbing the peace of the protected person.

A stay-away order stops the restrained person from going places that the protected person frequents. He or she may be restrained from going near the home, workplace, school, daycare center or vehicle of the protected person. A mandated distance from the specific locations is usually named in the order.

There are some types of restraining orders that can be activated only by employers, the elderly and other citizen groups. In all cases, an order is a serious matter. It may be critical for the protection of one person but can seriously limit the rights of another. Some orders may force a resident to leave his or her home or not see his or her children. Because a restraining order of any type must be handed down by the courts, most people in need of the protection seek input from a lawyer in order to start the process. A lawyer may be able to provide advice on the best type of protection based on the person's situation.

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