California Judges Able to Renew Domestic Violence Protection Orders Under New Law

In November 2021, a California judge determined the woman before him had demonstrated a reasonable case of fear of continued physical abuse and threats to her life with a firearm. However, the judge wasn’t sure if state law actually gave him the authority to renew her domestic violence restraining order.

California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act allowed for protection orders to be renewed for “either” five years or permanently, begging the question: Could domestic violence restraining orders be re-upped multiple times?

It wasn’t a unique conundrum posed by the judge, but rather one heard by attorneys and advocates across the state.

That lack of judicial consistency — and a legislative recommendation from the UC Irvine School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic — led to a recent change in the law.

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