Domestic Violence / Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence is a serious problem for both men and women. In 2005, more than 45,000 people were arrested in California for domestic violence, while 155 domestic victims were murdered that year.

There are Several Kinds of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO) in California

  • Emergency Protective Order: A police officer who responds to a domestic violence call or complaint can get you an emergency protective order right away. This gives the victim five business days to speak with a family law attorney who can file a request for a permanent DVRO. During this time, the abuser is mandated by law to stay away from the victim(s).
  • Temporary (Ex-Parte) Restraining Order: Before going to a court to request a full hearing on your domestic violence case, the victim can ask for a temporary (ex-parte) restraining order that will last until the hearing can be held. The victim can file a TRO without prior notification to the abuser.
  • Restraining Order After The Hearing: A DVRO granted by a judge after a full hearing can last for up to five years. It can later be extended beyond the five years or, if necessary, made permanent.
  • “Kick-out” or Exclusive Possession Orders: This type of order essentially “kicks out” the abuser and mandates that he or she stay away from the home. The order gives the victim exclusive possession of the home. It is considered a crime for a person to violate a “kick-out” order that has been issued for spousal abuse.

A restraining order can demand that the abuser stop the abuse, prohibit the abuser from owning or buying a gun, mandate that the abuser pay child and/or spousal support, require the abuser to pay for legal fees and medical costs incurred by the victim because of the abuse, and include anything else that the judge deems necessary.

For Domestic Violence Victims

Mello & Pickering, LLP will help you petition for a restraining order if you are a man or a woman who is a victim of domestic violence and you would like to keep your abuser away from you and your family. As experienced family law attorneys, we will help you prepare for your hearing so that you can prove to the court why the abuser should be forced to stay away from you and your children (if you have any).

If the abuser is the father or mother of your child, we will arrange for child custody/supervised visitation arrangements as part of your restraining order. If the abuser is your husband or wife and your primary source of financial support, we will work with the court to arrange a spousal support agreement for you. In the event that the other party violates your restraining order against them, we are prepared to go in front of a judge and demand that steps be taken to ensure that the order is enforced so that you are protected.

A restraining order can be filed against an abusive spouse, ex-husband, ex-wife, domestic partner, lover, parent, the father or mother of your child, someone you are dating, or anyone that you are related to by blood, marriage, or adoption. Domestic violence can be physical, verbal, written, or sexual. Threatening to commit a violent act can also be grounds for a DVRO.

If You Have Been Wrongfully Accused of Domestic Violence

If you are a woman or a man who has been wrongfully accused of committing domestic violence, these accusations can have serious ramifications on your life, career, your right to visit or have custody of your children, and the amount of child support (if any) you may be required to pay. California law nearly always requires that a police officer arrest any person accused of domestic violence—whether or not the charges are warranted. A misdemeanor or a felony conviction for domestic violence can result in prison time and a record for life.

Mello & Pickering, LLP will defend you against any erroneous charges and protect your rights to see your children and maintain possession of your home (if a kick-out order has been issued against you).

Jennifer Mello and Traci Pickering are experienced family law attorneys who have knowledge and skills to help you resolve your domestic violence matter. We are committed to protecting your rights —whether you are the victim of domestic violence or someone who has been wrongfully charged with committing this crime. Mello & Pickering, LLP are experienced litigators who have appeared before the California courts and successfully argued their clients’ cases.

Located in San Jose, California, Mello & Pickering, LLP represents clients in Santa Clara County, including the cities of Mountain View, San Jose, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Gilroy, Los Altos, and Campbell.

With Mello & Pickering, LLP, both Jennifer and Traci will work together with you on your case. For an initial consultation, call (408) 288-7800, or email us at

Mello & Pickering, LLP explicitly disclaims all liability related to actions performed or not performed based on any or all of the content on this Web site. View our Disclaimer page for more information.

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