Process of Getting a Restraining Order

There are four steps in obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). You should allow at least three hours to complete this entire process.

Obtain and complete the necessary paperwork. The forms are available at the business office of the court. (If you utilize the services of the Domestic Violence Clinic, we will provide the forms.)

North San Diego Colunty Court House
325 Melrose Dr.
Vista, California
(760)726-9595

Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
8:30 – 11:30 8:30 – 11:30 8:30 – 11:30 CLOSED 8:30 – 11:30
12:30 – 2:30 12:30 – 2:30 12:30 – 2:30 CLOSED 12:30 – 2:30
  • Take the completed forms to the clerk’s office of the court. The clerk will process the paperwork and assign your case to a specific judge. Your application for a TRO must be presented by you to a judge. Only a judicial officer (judge) can approve a temporary restraining order.
  • Take your paperwork to the assigned court room and present the paperwork to the Bailiff in the court room.
  • Once signed by the judge, your TRO must be processed by the court. The judge will instruct you to return to the clerk’s office to pick up your paperwork.
  • Your restraining order is also processed by law enforcement The person to be restrained must be given notice of the restraining order and hearing date by being served with a copy of the restraining order. Typically, local law enforcement will serve the restrained person with the paperwork and inform the restrained person of the details of the restraining order.

NOTE: This is the general process at the Vista Court. This procedure may vary slightly in the other San Diego County courts. All courts use the same forms.

There are no court costs associated with obtaining a domestic violence temporary restraining order. 

Types Of Restraining Orders: There are two types of personal conduct restraining orders: Civil Harassment and Domestic Violence . The requirements to obtain a domestic violence restraining order are as follows:

  • There must be a Domestic Relationship between you and the person to be restrained.
  • Presently or previous married to each other
  • Presently or previously dating each other-presently or previously engaged to each other
  • Presently or previously living together in an intimate relationship (if solely roommates, the proper restraining order is a civil harassment restraining order)
  • Have a child or children in common with each other
  • Are related to each other by blood within the second degree (i.e., parent, sibling, grandparent)
  • Are related by marriage (i.e., mother-in-law, brother-in-law)

If the relationship between you and the person to be restrained is not a domestic relationship, the appropriate type of retraining order is a civil harassment restraining order.

There must be recent physical violence (generally within the past 30 days) OR a threat of imminent physical violence before the court will issue a temporary restraining order (TRO). In other words, has the person to be restrained committed at least one of the following:

  • Physically assaulted or attempted to physically assault you or a member of your household (including sexual assault)
  • Caused, threatened, or attempted bodily injury to you or a member of your household
  • Made you or a member of your household afraid of bodily harm

Temporary restraining orders may also be issued if there is a significant history of stalking.