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Domestic Violence Restraining Order: The General Process in Alameda County

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Form Packet
A person eligible for a domestic violence restraining order can obtain a temporary restraining order form packet for persons with or without children. The forms can be obtained at your local court house or with the help of a legal service agency.

Proof of Service
After the papers have been properly served on the restrained person, the proof of service must be filled out and signed by the person that served the papers. Three (3) copies of the proof of service should be made. The original signed copy of the proof of service should be filed and submitted to the court. The other two copies should be file stamped by the clerk. One copy should be attached to your copy of the TRO and that should be brought to court on your hearing date. The final copy should be kept with your records.

Filing the Forms
After the appropriate forms have been completed, the forms are submitted to the court clerk in the appropriate jurisdiction. The clerk will take the forms to a Judge to be reviewed. The forms will be processed and returned. This takes between 24-48 hours (business days).

  • If the Judge grants a TRO the clerk will return two copies of the order: 1) a copy for the person requesting the order 2) a copy for the restrained person
  • If the Judge grants the TRO; the TRO must be served (See Service of the Forms).
  • If the Judge has granted your TRO you will be given a hearing date. (See Restraining Order Hearing).
  • If the Judge rejects the request you will be given a hearing with no temporary orders; the TRO must be served if you want the court to consider issuing any orders.

Service of the Forms
After the temporary orders have been picked-up from the court, the person requesting the orders must have copies of all forms personally served on the restrained person, along with as a blank Answer to Temporary Restraining Order.
The TRO can be served by the following people: 1) a person 18 yrs or old and who is a not listed on the order as a protected person 2) by a professional process server 3) Alameda County Sheriff's Office (if it is being served in Alameda County) . Generally, service of the papers must be completed at least five calendar days before the hearing unless otherwise stated on the orders.

Answer from Restrained Person
The restrained person has a right to file an answer with the court in response to the restraining order. The answer should be served on the other person and filed with the court prior to the hearing.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is a protective order issued under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. The order is issued by a Civil Superior Court

Restraining Order Hearing
The protected person should attend the hearing whether they were able to serve the restrained person or not. A request can be made to the court that the hearing be continued and the TRO is re-issued so the protected person has additional time to serve the restrained person. If the abuser was served and is present or is not present the court can issue the restraining or set a hearing date for contested restraining orders.

Judge Issues the Restraining Order
If the judge issued a restraining order then the court clerk files the order and the protected person is given a copy of the Restraining Order After Hearing (ROAH). If the restrained person was not present then the protected person must serve them with the ROAH. If the restrained person was present then often the court serves them during court. Please note that if children are involved the court will order mediation and possibly future hearings.
Created by Veronica Bouttelle, Family Violence Law Center, 2009.


Family Violence Law Center Center (510)208-0220

California Courts Self-Help Center

Alameda County Bar Association

Alameda County Superior Court

Bay Area Legal Aid (510) 250-5270