Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
Let Us Help You. Call Today. 805-232-5808
Let Us Help You. Call Today. 805-232-5808

New Developments Under the DVPA - Part 2 of 2

Though the findings in Evilsizor v Sweeney, as discussed last week in New Developments Under the Law (Part 1 of 2), concern me greatly, I find myself in accord with the recent decision made by the 2nd Appellate District Court, Division 3, in Isidora M. v Silvino M. (2015 WL4600037), handed down on July 31, 2015.  

The gist of Isidora M. is simply a reinforcement of one of the basic tenets of our legal system, which is that each defendant/respondent is entitled to "notice and an opportunity to be heard."  In Isidora M., the trial court issued mutual domestic violence restraining orders:  one restraining Isidora from contacting or approaching* Silvino, and one restraining Silvino from contacting or approaching* Isidora.  The problem was that Silvino had not filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order - the parties were in court on Isidora's request for an order restraining Silvino. 

While mutual restraining orders can be issued, the 2nd Appellate District Court stated that, under Family Code Section 6305, no trial court can issue mutual restraining orders unless both have appeared, both have requested orders from the court, both have given proper notice**, and both have presented adequate evidence of abuse each suffered from the other. 

In fact, the trial court must make specific findings, in the case of such dual applications, that both parties acted primarily as aggressors and that neither acted primarily in self defense.  That's a tall order, as attorneys who regularly practice in the Family Law courts can tell you.  

So - we had two important rulings over the summer.  In Evilsizor v Sweeney, we saw the courts expand the circumstances under which a domestic violence restraining order may be issued.  In Isidora M. v Silvino M., we see the courts decrease the circumstances under which a domestic violence restraining order may be issued. 

This is an area of law that will continue to change, I think.  We will keep you posted. 

-------------

The actual language for prohibited conduct under a DVRO (domestic violence restraining order) is as follows:  the restrained person shall not "harass, attack, strike, threaten, assault (sexually or otherwise), hit, follow, stalk, molest, destroy personal property, disturb the peace, keep under surveillance, impersonate (on the Internet, electronically or otherwise), or block movements; contact, either directly or indirectly, in any way, including but not limited to, by telephone, mail or email or other electronic means."

** "Proper notice" in DVRO proceedings can be accomplished if the Court finds there is good cause for a waiver.  This can be complicated, and is not part of today's discussion.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
We Are Here To Help, Contact Us With Your Concerns
Email Us For A Response

Tell Us About Your Issue

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Tell us how we are doing and Review Us

Office Location

Hartley, Maxwell & Castellano - Attorneys at Law
5700 Ralston Street, Suite 210
Ventura, CA 93003

Phone: 805-232-5808
Fax: 805-639-0500
Map & Directions

Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law