The Domestic Violence Act is designed to curb violence and sexual abuse by separating the parties and restraining certain activities and conduct. The Act protects a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, relative, child and a person with a dating relationship to the restrained person. The petitioner may petition the court and obtain a notice of hearing (NOH) and temporary restraining order (TRO) to protect people and property. The NOH/TRO is a notice of motion advising the respondent to appear at a hearing to determine whether a long term injunction prohibiting certain activities should be issued. The temporary restraining order (TRO) restrains the respondent from certain activities and types of conduct for a limited period of time. If the TRO includes a removal order, the Sheriff will immediately move the respondent from the address and allow the respondent to take only personal clothing and effects needed until the hearing. The NOH and TRO should be given to the Sheriff without delay because any restraining orders must be entered in the California Restraining and Protective Order System (CARPOS-formerly DVROS).
The NOH and TRO must be served at least five days before the hearing date unless the time is shortened by the court. At the request of the petitioner, the Sheriff will serve the NOH and TRO without a fee deposit. If the NOH and TRO are served by someone other than the Sheriff, the proof of service must be filed with the court. The respondent is subject to immediate arrest for violating the court's orders if CARPOS indicates the NOH and TRO has been served.
The Sheriff accords a very high priority to restraining orders involving threatened violence. The first attempt to serve the NOH and TRO will be made no later than two business days after receipt. Up to three attempts will be made, including one night time attempt after 6:00 p.m. (unless the respondent cannot be found at the address in the evening.) If the NOH and TRO are served, the Sheriff will mail a notice of service to the petitioner and file a proof of service with the court. If service is not made, the NOH and TRO will be returned to the petitioner together with a certificate of not found/no service detailing the reasons for non-service. If the respondent appears to be evading service, the petitioner may wish to consider using a friend or relative over the age of 18 or hiring a registered process server who can devote more time to effect service.