Getting Help Getting a Restraining Order

You may choose to speak with a Peer Counselor at the Women’s Resource Center about your options.

Domestic violence victims are often exposed repeatedly to threats, violence, intimidation, and physical, emotional and psychological abuse. Help is available to assist with obtaining a restraining order for those who are eligible. Once issued, a restraining order  may forbid abusers from contacting their victims in any way, including physical contact, violence, threats, harassment, telephone calls or communicating through other people. A restraining order could remove an abuser from the home, may protect other relatives and even pets that live with the victim, and may also address child custody, visitation and other issues.

For assistance obtaining a restraining order contact:

Hill’s Document Service (HAD )

Free legal document assistance for domestic violence protection.

Wendy Johnson

Free Restraining Order Assistance


559-579- 5916

Central CaliforniaLegal Services

Provides free legal services for domestic violence.


Centro La Familia Advocacy Services, Inc

Provides help with domestic violence restraining orders, tenant housing, and public benefit issues.

  •    1-877-294-3772

FresnoCountyPublic Law Library

Provides legal resources and answers to questions in person and online in real time.


The Family Law Facilitator's Office and Self-Help Center

Provides information sheets, court forms, and other services.

559-457-2100      1-866-665-2345

MarjareeMason Center

Provides a workshop on Thursday mornings with help completing and filing restraining orders.


The Spanish Self-Help Center - known as Centro de Recursos Legales

Offers help for Spanish language clients.


To do it yourself, visit  I-CAN! Legal Modules Online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does a restraining order do?

A: It may addresses the issues of child support, custody, visitation, and property control, requests for batterer’s treatment and residence move out orders. The victim might also obtain a stay away order which prevents the abuser from coming within 100 yards from the victim and other protected parties.

Q: Will the restraining order affect the custody of my children?

A: If the abuser is the father of your children, the court can establish custody orders or change any existing orders

Q: Can I get a kick-out order if our residence is in both our names?

A: Yes, if you convince the court that it's necessary for the safety of you and your children and/or for some other compelling reason.

Q: Will the abuser see what I wrote on my application for the restraining order?

A: Yes. The abuser will be served with a copy of the forms you file with the court.

Q: Does the abuser have to be present at the hearing?

A: No. The court requires that the abuser be served with the forms and that a Proof of Service is filed with the court to let them know he knew about the hearing. The abuser can attend the hearing if they are not in agreement with the issues that you addressed in your application for the restraining order.

Q: How long will the hearing last?

A: The cases are usually scheduled for either the morning (8am-12pm) or afternoon (1pm-5pm). Your case may be called at any time during these hours. Make arrangements for child care or with your employer if necessary as the wait can be lengthy. Once your case is called, most hearings average 15 minutes or less.  

Q: Can I bring someone with me to the hearing and mediation?

A: Yes. The law allows you to have a "support person" present.

Q: I want to withdraw my application for a restraining order. Can I withdraw my application for a restraining order and still get the court to order counseling for the abuser?

A: No. If you withdraw your application, the court can not order treatment.

Q: Does the restraining order divorce me from the abuser?

A: No.