Van Nuys Restraining Orders are filed at The Van Nuys Superior Court – East located at 6230 Sylmar Avenue.
Van Nuys court hears all four types of restraining orders that can be filed in California:
- Civil harassment restraining orders – these are the most common types of restraining orders filed in California and are the correct type of order to request when other types are not appropriate. Harassment is actual and unlawful violence, or the threat of violence, or a willful and knowing course of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose, reasonably causing substantial emotional distress.
- Workplace violence restraining orders – the name of this restraining order request is misleading and is only filed in very limited situations: it can only be requested by an employer on behalf of an employee. Employees must file a civil harassment restraining order request (or another type of appropriate request) if they are seeking a restraining order against an employer or another employee. Unlike other types of restraining order requests, an elder abuse restraining order does not require the petitioner be an individual who attends the hearing. Instead, a representative of the petitioner, often a corporate officer or attorney, may represent the petitioner at the restraining order hearings.
- Domestic violence restraining orders – when parties are in a dating relationship, a former dating relationship, are domestic partners, are cohabitants, are former cohabitants, have a parent / child relationship, are siblings, have a grandparent / grandchild relationship. or other type of qualifying relationship. Often, individuals who are required to file a request as a domestic violence restraining order request file a civil harassment request instead because they are not aware of the requirements depending on the relationship between the petitioner and respondent. Filing the correct type of request can avoid wasted time and the necessity to begin the process from the beginning, delaying the issuance of a permanent restraining order.
- Elder abuser restraining order – designed to protect individuals with physical disabilities, mental disabilities that make them unable to perform normal activities to protect themselves, and seniors who are 65 years old or older. This type of order can be requested by the petitioner or on behalf of a petitioner. Further, it is not just for the elderly, despite its name – disabled individuals can receive protection under this type of order as well. Therefore, an elder abuse restraining order request is one type of restraining order that can be heard without the actual petitioner present; a representative of the petitioner may attend. An elder abuse restraining order is also the only type of restraining order that can be granted for financial abuse. If an individual suffers financial abuse and does not qualify to request an elder abuse restraining order, the only appropriate course of action is to proceed with a civil (or criminal, if applicable) complaint against the responsible party.
When considering a civil harassment restraining order, note that harassment is defined under California law. It is a credible threat of violence or actual violence or a willful and knowing course of conduct directed at a specific person that reasonably causes that person to be annoyed, alarmed, or harassed. Further, the conduct can serve no legitimate purpose and must actually cause reasonable and substantial emotional distress.
Restraining orders filed at Van Nuys Courthouse are those that are based on conduct and/or residence of one of the parties in Encino, Panorama City, Reseda, Sepulveda, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Valley Village, and Van Nuys, as well as parts of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Los Angeles, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.
In restraining order hearings, the petitioner presents his or her evidence first, followed by an opportunity, after every witness, for the respondent to challenge the testimony via cross examination. The petitioner can call multiple witnesses but must be careful not to include repetitive testimony that is not relevant to the issues the court must decide. Cumulative witnesses are permitted, to a certain point – a judge may limit the number of witnesses based on his or her discretion and understanding of the facts. Further, it is critically important to include all relevant and available witnesses in the initial court filings so that the court has an idea of what type of facts the witnesses seek to establish.
The Los Angeles Superior Court Filing Court Locator can be used to determine where a restraining order should be filed.
Parking at the Van Nuys Courthouse is available in the adjacent parking structure. There is also ample metered street parking. Restraining order matters are heard at the Van Nuys Courthouse – East. The Van Nuys Courthouse – West is reserved for criminal matters only.
Van Nuys Restraining Orders Are Filed In Clerk’s Office
Van Nuys restraining orders must be filed in the clerk’s office on the first floor. If the temporary restraining order is approved by the judge, the clerk will hand the signed paperwork to the Petitioner. The paperwork will contain the hearing date and additional information. It is the Petitioner’s responsibility to make sure that the paperwork is served on the Respondent via a private process server, sheriff or a 3rd party not part of the case & over the age of 18.
The Van Nuys Courthouse also provides mediators free of charge if the parties to a restraining order are willing to mediate their dispute prior to having it heard by the judge. Cases will be assigned to mediation on the date of the hearing. The clerk will advise the parties that mediation is available, and if both parties are amenable to mediation, a mediator will be assigned to the case. All statements made to the mediator are confidential, and neither the mediator nor the opposing party is allowed to use those statements in court.
If the parties are able to resolve their dispute through mediation, the mediator will prepare a settlement agreement for the parties to sign, and the case will be dismissed. If the parties are unable to resolve their dispute the case will proceed to a hearing. Depending on mediator availability, and the length of the mediation, it is possible that the case will be continued if the court runs out of time to hear the matter. 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.
Defending a Van Nuys Restraining Order Request
Restraining orders filed in Van Nuys are contested the same way that restraining orders are defended in all other Los Angeles County courthouses and throughout California. Restraining order petitioners (the individual seeking protection) are permitted to include evidence to establish elder abuse, a pattern of harassment, domestic violence, or workplace violence. They may introduce testimony in the form of live witnesses or documentary evidence in the form of exhibits.
Restraining order respondents, the individuals against whom protection is sought, may also introduce live testimony or written evidence. Respondents have the same opportunity to question witnesses that petitioner’s do. They may cross examine witnesses and also challenge the validity or accuracy of any written evidence. Respondents may also call their own witnesses, both to rebut testimony given by the petitioner and to provide new evidence, not addressed in petitioner’s evidence, that would support the denial of the restraining order (evidence such as testimony or documents supporting the fact that the respondent was out of town at the time of alleged wrongful acts alleged by petitioner would fall into this category). All that being said, evidence submitted should be concise and relevant, with an extra effort made to avoid spending time on issues the judge will not want to consider. Courts have large calendars and limited time for each case, which is why every restraining order litigant should consider that issue and act accordingly.
Van Nuys Restraining Order Resources
The Van Nuys courthouse has a Self-Help Center which runs a Domestic Violence Clinic which is open Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. The Self Help Center is located on the 3rd floor in room 350. The Domestic Violence Clinic focuses on preventing recurrences of domestic violence and assists with the preparation of restraining order paperwork. The Self-Help Center will also assist the victims of civil harassment in filling out the restraining order paperwork.
The San Fernando Valley Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) also hosts a restraining order workshop at 6240 Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys on Tuesdays between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm. The workshop assists low-income victims of domestic violence with the preparation of restraining order petitions. DART can be reached at (818)-374-0078.
The Los Angeles Police Department provides assistance to victims of domestic violence, including emergency or transitional housing. Emergency shelters offer housing assistance for a max of 90 days. Transitional housing offers refuge for up to 18 months. The focus of this program is to enable victims of domestic violence to learn and develop skills necessary for independence. Shelter locations are confidential. The individual shelters and programs can be contacted using the telephone numbers below:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – (800) 900-SAFE (7233)
- Chicana Service Action Center – (800) 548-2722
- Haven Hills – (818) 887-6589
- Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles – (818) 505-0900
- Ocean Park Community Center – (310) 264-6646
- Prototypes (310) 641-7995
- Rainbow Services – (310) 547-9343
- Southern California Alcohol and Drug Program – (323) 780-4357