Domestic Violence Court Resources by County

Contra Costa County

Restraining Order Roadmap


Alameda County

Family Law Court


San Francisco

Restraining Orders Domestic Violence


California Courts

Ask for a Restraining Order


San Mateo County

Family Law


Santa Clara County

Self Help Restraining Orders

Lisa Mendes

Lisa Mendes, Family and Divorce Attorney

Partner Lisa Mendes leads our family law and divorce practice at Mendes Weed, LLP based in our Walnut Creek office. The law firm has years of successfully securing a solid and healthy future for clients through legal and emotional support.

Lisa is known for her aggressive defense of her clients as well as her knowledge of the law and how it pertains to their situation. She advocates for the rights and well-being of her clients and that of their children and family. She has a reputation for being a very fair negotiator and talented communicator. This streamlines and expedites the process, and helps when dealing with judges and other lawyers.

Chat with Us

Send a Message

Call

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

You Can Renew Your Domestic Violence Restraining Order Easily

You Can Renew Your Domestic Violence Restraining Order Easily

If your Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) is set to expire, you may be wondering what to do next. Do you want to renew your DVRO? Are you within the proper timeline to renew your DVRO? How much work is required to renew your DVRO? This short blog answers those questions.

If you applied to the court for a DVRO and received one, your order notes the expiration date. There is no requirement that you renew your DVRO, but it is an option available to you.

You can renew your DVRO anytime in the 3 months before it expires. If you wait until after it expires, you will have to go through the entire process again. Renewing a DVRO is easier than applying for the original DVRO, so it is worth it to apply for renewal instead of letting it lapse if you are concerned about continuing abuse.

The standard for renewing an existing DVRO may be lower than you think. A trial court may renew an existing DVRO “upon the request of a party, either for five years or permanently, without a showing of any further abuse since the issuance of the original order.” (Fam. Code §6345(a).) A trial court should renew an existing DVRO if it finds that “the protected party entertains a ‘reasonable apprehension’ of future abuse.” (Ritchie v. Konrad (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1275.) In determining whether you have a “reasonable apprehension of future abuse,” the trial court should consider the facts that led to the initial DVRO, and the mere existence of your DVRO should be enough to satisfy this standard. If the person against whom you received a DVRO has violated its terms, that is further reason for the court to grant your renewal.

The legislature passed the Domestic Violence Prevention Act to ensure not only your physical safety but protect your peace of mind. If your DVRO is expiring, and you are anxious about potential future abuse, don’t be shy to ask for a renewal. That is what it’s there for.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs) & Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs): Procedures, Preparation, Possibilities

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs) & Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs): Procedures, Preparation, Possibilities

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs) & Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs): Procedures, Preparation, Possibilities

Recent and ongoing orders to stay home may not be welcome news to all. For some, it may exacerbate already tense, unhealthy dynamics and lead to violence. If a romantic partner – past or present – married or not – is making you feel unsafe, you may very well qualify for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO).

A DVRO is meant to keep your abuser away so that you remain not only physically safe but free from physical or mental abuse.

The 58 Superior Courts throughout California (one for each county in California) have the power to issue Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO). Only a court can issue a DVRO. In a nutshell, the application, review, and decision-making process goes like this:

  1. Complete your DVRO paperwork. You may be surprised to hear that DVROs can be used for more than stay-away orders. They can be used to:
    • issue a move-out order,
    • make temporary custody orders, and
    • to make temporary property orders. It is good practice to speak to an attorney so you do not accidentally forgo a viable option.
  2. Drop your completed DVRO paperwork off at your local Superior Court. When you submit your documents, you will get a telephone number to call to check on the status of your application. It takes the Court 1- 2 court days to issue a temporary order. We suggest speaking to an attorney about timing considerations and the consequences of court closures throughout California.
  3. Based upon a review of your unique circumstances, a Judge will make temporary orders and the clerk will issue a hearing date. The Judge makes these decisions based entirely on your DVRO application. The temporary order will either: (i) grant your request in full until, (ii) partially grant and partially deny your request, or (iii) deny your request in full.
  4. You must personally serve the other party with the Judge’s Temporary Order. The temporary orders only go into effect once the other party is personally served. The other party must be served timely before the hearing and a proof of service completed so that your hearing date does not get continued.
  5. Appear at your hearing on the date listed on your Temporary Order paperwork. Hearings are typically set 3 weeks after you file your request. This is your opportunity to present your case more fully to the Judge. The opposing party will likely show up to contest your requests. We suggest you speak with an attorney about testifying in court and cross-examining the other party. At the end of the hearing, the Judge will make longer-term orders. These may or may not be in line with the temporary orders you initially received. The Judge will either deny your DVRO request, or grant your DVRO request for (i) 6 months, (ii) 1 year, (iii) 3 years, (iv) 5 years, or (v) forever.

But what if you feel you are in danger right now? As with any other emergency, call 911. When Law Enforcement arrives, explain your circumstances. Let the Police Officer know about any physical violence, sexual abuse, or threats of violence towards you, a child, an elder, or dependent adult. Based upon your situation, the Police Officer can issue an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) right then and there. However, EPOs can only last up to 7 days. Therefore, if you need protection beyond 7 days, you need to seek a DVRO from the Court through the process described above. We suggest you speak with an attorney immediately so that you do not experience a gap in protection.


We are here to help you in any variety of capacities, ranging from full representation through the DVRO process, to simply discussing your options and advising you as to the different legal recourses that may be available to you.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Elder Abuse

Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Elder Abuse

Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Elder Abuse

At Mendes Weed, LLP, we assist a variety of clients.  Some of our clients are very vulnerable or at risk of neglect.  

In the course of a single day we assist, such as:

  • Elderly persons in financial elder abuse cases
  • Parents with their children, sometimes when child abuse is suspected
  • Victims of domestic violence.  

Accordingly, we are concerned about our clients during this time of sheltering in place in the context of the current coronavirus outbreak.  Will our clients be subject to more abuse? Will our clients get what they need?  Who are the most vulnerable during this time?

How can we help those persons at risk of neglect or abuse who do not currently have an attorney?

You can read more about this here and here.  

Unfortunately, as we are in uncharted territory with the current state of events and what potential fall out there will be on multiple levels. 

If you scroll to the bottom of this article, you can see that many are still trying to gather information to assess the needs of individuals.  The article also provides ways to get involved.  

If you, or someone you know, is at risk of financial elder abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, or any similar situation, please feel free to reach out to our office – (925) 390-3222.

Our office provides flat fee consultations at affordable rates.  We would be happy to assist you with your legal needs in this area. It is at the heart of what we do.  

Please note: We are excited to have a new location to assist you in Jack London Square starting April 1, 2020.  We hope you will reach out to us to schedule an appointment at any of our current locations.  

 

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Shining the Light on Domestic Violence

Shining the Light on Domestic Violence

If you’re reading this, chances are, either you or someone you know, has been a victim of domestic violence.

Defined by the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the definition of domestic violence is “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner.” The Surgeon General has deemed domestic violence as the number one health concern in the country.

Domestic Violence Doesn’t Have to Contain Violence

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding domestic violence is the idea there must be “violence” involved.  Many people fail to report activity that falls under the crime of “domestic violence” because they are ill-informed regarding what “violence” entails.

Here is a brief list of what constitutes domestic violence:

  • Physical abuse: any form of violent behavior that results in injury or illness; hitting; biting; slapping; punching; shoving; denying medical treatment.
  • Sexual abuse: coercing the victim to partaking in sexual relations without his or her consent; sexually demeaning the victim with jokes or other behavior meant to belittle.
  • Psychological abuse: using intimidating tactics to cause fear; threatening to cause bodily harm to himself or the victim, their children, family, friends, or pets; not allowing the victim to visit family or friends or go to work.
  • Emotional abuse: any action meant to humiliate or lower self-worth or self-esteem; criticism; name calling; injuring a victim’s relationship with loved ones.
  • Economic abuse: denying financial independence; the abuser takes financial control, requiring the victim to be reliant on the abuser.
  • Stalking: repeatedly appearing at a person’s home or office and interfering with his or her daily life; following, spying on or watching someone; repeated acts of communication without consent.

Getting Help with Domestic Violence

 If you are the victim of domestic violence and you want help, contact Mendes Weed, LLP. We will listen compassionately without judgment and advise you of your rights.  If you need help filing for and obtaining a restraining order, we can assist you.

Our office is in Walnut Creek, and we help victims in Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek, and the surrounding areas get their life back. Please call us today (925) 390-3222 or visit us online.

Resources for Domestic Violence

We encourage you to get help if you think you may be a victim of domestic violence. Here are some resources that might be of service to you.

STAND! For Families Free of Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN) – 1-800-656-4673

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Disclaimer: The tips and materials provided on this page are for informational purposes only, offered as public service. No information on this website should be considered legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney directly.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

You Do Not Have to Get Hit. Understanding the misnomer in the term “Domestic Violence”

You Do Not Have to Get Hit. Understanding the misnomer in the term “Domestic Violence”

The term “domestic violence” is misleading.  Why?  Because violence is in no way required to satisfy the requisite need for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO).

Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), as well as related case law, actual violence is not required to establish the need for, and right to a restraining order.  This is a common misconception.  I often hear the most egregious stories of abuse: mental and emotional, and when I press my client as to his/her need for a DVRO, I normally hear, “Well, I don’t know. He/she did not hit me.”  There is this dangerously mistaken belief that because actual violence is not occurring, the situation is not serious or severe enough to warrant a DVRO.

“Abuse,” as defined by the DVPA and codified in the California Family Code § 6203, is broad.  It is broad for a reason.  Abuse has many faces: emotional, psychological, financial, stalking, and in the age of technology, it has a face online, especially in social media.

“For purposes of this act, ‘abuse’ means any of the following:

  1. a)      Intentionally or recklessly to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury;
  2. b)      Sexual assault;
  3. c)       To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another; or
  4. d)      To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320.”

What is important to note is that Section (c) of the Code refers to what is “reasonable.”  Reasonable triggers the question: What would an average person in same, or similar circumstances, find threatening, to the extent that they would fear they, or someone else, will be seriously harmed.

Section (d), takes the definition even farther.  It expands the perception of abuse to encompass other violent, and non-violence behaviors, including “disturbing the peace.”  The Court in In re Marriage of Nadkarni explained that “disturbing the peace” may be properly understood as conduct that destroys the mental or emotional calm of the other party.”

This is because the term domestic violence has word “violence” in it.  Please remember, no actual violence is required.

If you believe you, and or your children, are in an abusive environment, please contact someone for help.  There are many resources available for support, guidance and actual assistance to help you protect yourself and your children.  Your team at Mendes Weed is here to help.  In addition, below are some resources to get you started:

The tips and materials provided on this page are for informational purposes only, offered as public service. No information on this website should be considered legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney directly.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667