EMERGENCY RULE ON EXTENSION OF RESTRAINING ORDERS
Emergency Rule 8 of the Emergency Rules Related to COVID-19 allows persons protected by restraining orders to submit requests to renew restraining orders during the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency Rule 8 allows for the following:
- Requires that courts provide a means for requests to renew long-term restraining orders that expire during the state of emergency to be filed either at a physical location, drop box, or electronically.
- Allows courts to extend a long-term restraining order, upon a request to renew a restraining order being filed with the court, for up to 90 days.
- Allows a party or attorney to electronically sign a request to renew a restraining order filed with the court.
- Removes the requirement that emergency protective orders and restraining orders after hearing be automatically extended.
Under normal circumstances, Family Code §6345 states that a request to renew a restraining order must be requested by the protected person within three months from the date of expiration of a long-term restraining order, also known as a restraining order after hearing. During the state of emergency, all Californians should now be able to file a request for restraining order at their local court under Emergency Rule 8. Additionally, during the state of emergency, Emergency Rule 8 will still provide courts with the ability to issue new emergency protective orders, for up to 30 days, recognizing that it may be harder for self-represented litigants to access services during this time.
Given the severity of the crisis, and the need to ensure protection of vulnerable populations from violence, Emergency Rule 8 is necessary for courts to reasonably implement the emergency rules while still providing access to our court system for those in need of protection.