A Chatsworth Restraining Order is handled at the Chatsworth Courthouse, located at 9425 Penfield Avenue in Chatsworth, for incidents taking place in and/or involving residents of Chatsworth, Northridge, Porter Ranch, Mission Hills, Northridge, Panorama City, Arleta, Pacoima, Sylmar, Chatsworth Reservoir, San Fernando, North Hills.
Restraining Order Process in Chatsworth
When the request for a restraining order is filed, a clerk will review the paperwork, collect the filing fee, if applicable, and ask the Petitioner to take the paperwork to the courtroom so that the judge can review the request.
If the Judge has any questions, the Petitioner will be asked to discuss the filing. After the Judge makes his decision, the clerk will give the Petitioner copies of the paperwork. The paperwork will contain information regarding the Temporary Restraining Order, as well as a hearing date. One copy is to be delivered to the police on the same day that a temporary restraining order is granted. The second copy is for the Petitioner’s records.
The third copy is the service copy – it must be served on the Respondent. If the Petitioner wants the sheriff to serve the Respondent with the restraining order, a fee will apply. The restraining order can also be served by a private process server or by any 3rd party not part of the case 18+ yrs of age. Once the paperwork is served, a proof of service must be filed with the court or brought to the hearing.
Civil harassment cases in Chatsworth are always referred to mediation. Mediation is also sometimes, but not always, available for the other types of restraining orders – domestic violence, elder abuse, and workplace violence. These types of cases may also be referred to mediation at the judge’s discretion. A mediator is assigned to each eligible matter. The mediator will meet with each of the parties separately to discuss the dispute, the facts, and the evidence.
The mediator will then explain the benefits and drawbacks of the settlement and will attempt to fashion an agreement between the parties. Usually, the agreement will require that the restraining order is dismissed and that the parties stay away from each other and refrain from contact. Rarely, the settlement will request payment of attorney’s fees, if any were incurred by the parties, as well as for the exchange and return of property such as vehicles, pets, clothing, and other personal items.
Settlement agreements can sometimes include a confidentiality clause that prevents the parties from revealing the contents of the agreement to any third parties unless required to do so by law. there are also exceptions for attorneys, and other professionals, such as tax preparers, if applicable, and a non-disparagement clause, which prevents the parties from talking about each other with anyone else.
Chatsworth requires that the parties referred to mediation make a good faith effort to resolve their case. This means that the parties must make a reasonable effort to put their differences aside and resolve the case without having to proceed with the restraining order hearing. If, after a good faith effort by both sides to resolve their dispute, the case is not settled at mediation, the mediator will return the case file to the clerk. The case will proceed to a hearing or be continued. If the case is continued, a new hearing date will be assigned, and all temporary orders will remain in effect until the new hearing date.
At the restraining order hearing, the judge will listen to evidence brought by both sides, the petitioner (the person seeking protection) and the respondent (the person from whom protection is sought). Both sides, the petitioner and respondent, should bring all witnesses that they intend to call to testify to the hearing date. In addition, all documentary evidence that either side wishes to introduce and have the judge view should be brought to the hearing as well.
This includes video recordings, audio recordings, printed text messages, printed emails, or any other type of physical evidence. Remember to introduce evidence and testimony in a manner that is controlled and orderly. Introducing irrelevant evidence that takes up the court’s time can have an additional negative effect: it weakens the credibility of the side introducing it and has a negative impact on that side’s relevant testimony.
Chatsworth Restraining Order Resources
Services offered for free and by non-profits to victims: San Fernando Valley residents can visit the Family Emergency Shelter of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, located at 8756 Canby Ave., which offers up to 90 days of free overnight shelter, Biblical counseling, and guidance toward social and economic improvement. In the past, this Mission has provided 9,700 nights of shelter to mothers, fathers, and their children, with over 50% of the guests that stayed being children 12 years of age and younger.
Haven Hills is also available to Chatsworth and San Fernando Valley residents (a 24-hour crisis hotline can be reached at (818) 887-6589 in English or Spanish). Further, Haven Hills also runs a Domestic Violence 101 course the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Canoga Park Library, located at 20939 Sherman Way, where information will be provided about abusive relationships and services for friends and family of people affected by domestic violence.
- San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission < (818) 785-4476
- Haven Hills < Phone: (818) 887-7481; Fax: (818) 887-4796
- Canoga Park Library < (818) 887-0320
In the Santa Clarita Valley, near Chatsworth, victims of domestic violence or civil harassment are also in danger of homelessness or an ongoing threat of physical abuse/injury. The Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley (DVC of SCV) (www.dvc-scv.org), located at 23780 Newhall Ave., is available to Santa Clarita residents for a number of services that will protect victims and keep them and their families safe. DVC of SCV runs a 30-day emergency shelter where women and children who have been affected by domestic violence are assisted with finding transitional or permanent housing and job placement after they leave the facility. The DVC also runs an Outreach center that offers classes for domestic violence education and parenting classes, art therapy, and meditation classes. The Outreach Center has staff that assists in creating a future safety plan and escape kit.
Most importantly, DVC runs a Court Advocacy Program that offers assistance for those seeking legal protection from domestic violence. The Program also provides support, explains court procedures, accompanies victims to court proceedings (solely for support), and helps victims apply for temporary or permanent restraining orders. Appointments must be made between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm Mondays or 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm Wednesdays. DVC also runs a 24-hour shelter hotline at (661) 259-4357, or for non-emergency cases at (661) 259-8175 for confidential information and support.
- L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clarita < (661) 255-1121
- The Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley < (661) 259-8175
- DVC Court Advocacy Program < Appointments: (661) 259-8175
The Domestic Violence Clinic at the Self-Help Center, and is open Mondays through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The goal of the Clinic is to assist victims in obtaining a domestic violence restraining order to prevent the recurrence of acts of abuse by a batterer. Once a victim has obtained a court-issued restraining order, the police may arrest a restrained person who violates the order, only when that person has had notice of the terms of the order. Notice to the restrained person can be by personal service, as a result of an appearance of the person in Court when the order is made, or if a Criminal Protective Order is served by the Court (where no additional notice is required).
The Family Violence Project (www.jfsla.org), located at 13949 Ventura Blvd., provides help and counseling to survivors of domestic violence and their children, along with a 24-hour crisis hotline (818-505-0900). In addition, FVP maintains emergency shelters, transitional housing, comprehensive counseling and an education and prevention outreach program.
A Chatsworth Restraining Order is most frequently issued for instances of domestic violence, but are also common in cases of civil harassment, which consists of abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, or sexual assault by someone you have not dated or do not have a close relationship with, such as a neighbor, roommate, or friend.