What are the Legal Defenses to a Restraining Order in California?

January 21, 2023

We Fight Restraining Orders Throughout Southern California

A restraining order is a legal order issued by a court that prohibits one person from having any contact with another person. In California, restraining orders can be issued for various reasons, such as domestic violence, stalking, or harassment.

When a restraining order is issued, the person against whom the order is directed (the respondent) must comply with the terms of the order, which can include restrictions on their ability to contact or go near the person who requested the order (the petitioner). If the respondent violates the terms of the restraining order, they can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense.

However, there are several defenses that a respondent can raise in order to challenge a restraining order. It is important to note that these defenses are not mutually exclusive and a respondent may raise multiple defenses in their challenge to a restraining order. Some of the most common defenses include:

Lack of Evidence


The respondent can argue that there is not enough evidence to support the issuance of a restraining order. For example, if the petitioner’s allegations of domestic violence are based on hearsay or circumstantial evidence, the respondent may be able to show that there is not enough evidence to support the issuance of a restraining order.

False Allegations


The respondent can also argue that the petitioner’s allegations are false. This defense can be raised if the respondent can provide evidence that contradicts the petitioner’s allegations, such as witness statements or physical evidence. The reasons for bringing false allegations against someone can be endless.

Self-Defense


The respondent can argue that they acted in self-defense if the petitioner’s allegations of domestic violence or harassment involve physical violence. This defense can be raised if the respondent can show that they were in fear of imminent harm from the petitioner and that their actions were necessary to protect themselves.

Lack of Jurisdiction


The respondent can argue that the court does not have jurisdiction to issue a restraining order. This defense can be raised, for instance, if the alleged incidents of domestic violence or harassment did not occur within the jurisdiction of the court.

First Amendment Rights


The respondent can argue that the restraining order violates their First Amendment rights, such as freedom of speech or freedom of assembly. This defense can be raised if the restraining order prevents the respondent from engaging in protected speech or assembly.

Contact an Experienced Restraining Order Attorney in Southern California


Restraining orders are a serious matter, and anyone facing a restraining order should seek the advice of an experienced Orange County restraining order attorney. A lawyer can help the respondent understand their rights, evaluate the strength of the case against them, and develop a strategy for challenging the restraining order. Give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

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