Renewing Your Domestic Violence Restraining Order

For individuals whom have suffered abuse, harassment, or threats from an opposing party, the obtainment of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) has likely provided them with security and peace of mind for a period of time. As such, the thought of an upcoming expiration of that restraining order may be daunting and create a significant amount of stress. For such individuals who continue to fear for their safety, and who want the continued security a restraining order provides them, renewal of the underlying restraining order is a great option. Here at Mello & Pickering, LLP, our San Jose family law attorneys have both assisted in the filing of renewal requests, as well as defended against such requests.

Renewal of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order is Not Automatic

The first thing to understand about renewals of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders is that there is no automatic extension of a restraining order upon its expiration. Upon its expiration, the protections that the DVRO provided no longer exist. Therefore, if the protected party wishes for these protections to continue, it is up to the protected party to file a Request to Renew a Restraining Order (FL-700 and FL-710), serve the other party with the request, and attend the hearing on the same.

When to Renew a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Given that the renewal of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order is not automatic, it is important to be aware of the deadlines associated with filing a Request to Renew a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. In California, you may file your Request to Renew a Domestic Violence Restraining Order within three (3) months of the expiration date. Therefore, it is important to note when the DVRO expires so that you are neither too early, nor too late, in filing the request to renew.

Getting a Renewal of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Although the process of obtaining the initial DVRO can be strenuous depending on the circumstances, it is significantly less difficult to obtain a renewal of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Renewal of a DVRO is governed by Family Code section 6345 which provides the following: “…. These orders may be renewed, upon the request of a party, either for five years or permanently, without a showing of further abuse since the issuance of the original order, subject to termination or modification by further order of the court either on written stipulation filed with the court or on the motion of a party. The request for renewal may be brought at any time within the three months before the expiration of orders.” The only required showing is a reasonable fear of future abuse.

In the case of Rybolt v. Riley (2018) 20 Cal.App.5th 864, a case about the renewal of a DVRO, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s consideration of a restrained party’s actions toward the protected party, during shared parenting time, as abuse under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, and as violations of a DVRO. The court found that the mother’s apprehension of future abuse was genuine and reasonable, that the father had violated the restraining order on several occasions, and that he used extracurricular activities as a pretext to manipulate, control, and disturb her. The court found that circumstances had not sufficiently changed to reduce the need for continued protection and renewed the restraining order for five years. The appellate court noted a trial court should analyze reasonable fear of future abuse under an objective test in which a “‘…trial court should renew the protective order, if, and only if, it finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected party entertains a “reasonable apprehension” of future abuse. . . . [T]his does not mean the court must find it is more likely than not future abuse will occur if the protective order is not renewed. It only means the evidence demonstrates it is more probable than not there is a sufficient risk of future abuse to find the protected party’s apprehension is genuine and reasonable.’” (Lister v. Bowen (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 319, 332-333).

Schedule a Consultation with a San Jose Family Law Attorney

If you need assistance with renewing your Domestic Violence Restraining Order, or defending against a renewal that you believe is unwarranted, the experienced attorneys at Mello and Pickering, LLP can provide the legal support and advocacy you need. Our team is dedicated to helping you secure a safe future with financial security and confidence, free of abuse and violence. For your free consultation, call (408) 288-7800 or email

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