This landmark decision will help countless abuse survivors across California get the protection they need. For the first time ever, a California court ruled that family courts can renew restraining orders issued by juvenile courts. And because the 2nd District Court of Appeal decided to publish its opinion in this case, it is now binding legal precedent for all trial courts statewide. Thanks to our pro bono partners on this case, Mayer Brown LLP, especially arguing attorney Samantha Booth and partner Donald Falk. Thanks also to Pepper Hamilton LLP for submitting a compelling amicus brief in this case on behalf of California Women’s Law Center.
Garcia v. Escobar holds that after a juvenile court case is dismissed (the juvenile court has terminated its jurisdiction), domestic violence restraining orders issued by the juvenile court can be renewed by the family court, the same way that family courts’ restraining orders are renewed. This is important because renewed restraining orders last longer (five years or permanently) than new restraining orders, which only last up to five years. The longer period of protection helps the survivor avoid the retraumatization of having to repeatedly return to court.
See our Case Alert for Practice Tips on how to use this case to support clients who are domestic violence survivors.