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How to respond

How to respond to a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order:  If you are the party that has been served with domestic violence paperwork, first carefully review all the paperwork.  Make a note of the hearing date and time.  Look at the DV-110 “Temporary Restraining Order” to see which temporary restraining orders were granted by the court and which were denied.  Comply with all of the restraining orders that were granted pending the hearing.  Even if you feel the orders were obtained only because the other party made misrepresentations to the court.  If you violate any of the temporary restraining orders, you could be arrested and charged with a crime.  You will have your chance at the hearing to tell the judge your side of the story.  At the hearing, the judge will decide if the temporary restraining orders should end on the day of the hearing or be extended.  If the judge decides to extend the orders, they could be in effect for as long as five years.  Custody and support orders can last even longer than five years.

 

After you have been served with domestic violence papers, you may want to complete a DV-120, which is entitled, “Response to Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order”.  Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you find a blank DV-120 that you can fill out and print.   For instructions on how to fill out the DV-120, you can read another court form entitled, “How Can I Respond to a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order” (DV-120-INFO).  You can find the DV-120-INFO form in our Court Forms Database.

 

You may not want to complete the DV-120.  Domestic violence can be a crime.  If someone is accusing you of committing a crime, you have a right against self-incrimination.  If your spouse has filed domestic violence papers claiming you beat him or her up, and you then use the DV-120 to make a detailed statement, under penalty of perjury, to describe what happened, it is possible the DV-120 could be used as evidence to convict you of a crime.  You may want to consult with a criminal law attorney before you complete the DV-120.  The problem is, if you don’t give the court your side of the story, the court will only have the other party’s version of the facts and the court will then likely grant the other party all of the orders they requested, which could include child custody orders.  You are going to have to weigh your rights against self-incrimination against your need to present your version of the facts to the court so the other party does not get all of the orders they requested.

 

If you elect to complete the DV-120, after you have completed the form, make at least two copies.  File the DV-120 with the court.  There is no filing fee.  The court clerk will give you back the two copies with “filed-endorsed” stamps on the copies.  Arrange to have one copy served on the other party.  The DV-120 can be served on the other party by mail.  You can’t mail it yourself because you are a party to the action.  Have a friend that is over 18 years old put the copy in the mail to the other party.  Then, prepare a “Proof of Service by Mail” (DV-250) form and have your friend sign it.  Then, file the DV-250 with the court clerk.  Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database to find a blank DV-250 you can fill out and print.

 

If the other party asked for court orders that involve financial matters (i.e., the other party asked for child support; spousal support; and/or that you pay certain debts; etc.), then the other side should have served you with a completed Income & Expense Declaration (FL-150).  In this case, you will need to complete your own FL-150.  The judge will need Income & Expense Declarations from both parties in order to make decisions about financial matters.  Use the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find a blank FL-150 you can fill out and print.

 

You may decide that you want to get restraining orders against the other party.  You can’t use the DV-120 to get restraining orders against the other party.  If you want to get restraining orders against the other party, you will have to apply for your own restraining orders.  In other words, you will have to complete your own “Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order” (DV-100) and the other court forms that go along with the DV-100.

 

After you have completed your DV-120, filed it, and served it, you need to attend the court hearing.  If you don’t attend the hearing, the judge will likely grant the other party all of the orders they requested.

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