On September 20, the California Second District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of our client, Raymond M., holding the trial court made an error by issuing a mutual restraining order to his former partner, Melissa G., without making the factual findings required under Family Code section 6305, which says that mutual restraining orders should only be issued after the court determines these findings: that both parties were dominant aggressors and neither of them acted in self-defense. The Court of Appeal also said restraining orders based on separate incidents are mutual restraining orders under the law, affirming that domestic violence is often a series of separate but related incidents.
“No published case has yet examined whether, following a single hearing, a court may enter two restraining orders that grant two separate applications to restrain opposing parties without first making the factual findings required under section 6305. Considering the language of section 6305, its legislative history, and existing case law, we agree with father that such findings are required regardless of whether the two restraining order requests stem from a single incident or separate incidents.”
FVAP’s research has identified mutual restraining orders as a top concern in LGBTQIA+ communities when it comes to domestic violence. It is our hope that this published opinion will help these communities and curb trial courts’ frequent use of mutual restraining orders when it is not justified.
To learn more about mutual restraining orders, domestic violence, and LGBTQIA+ communities, visit our Legal Resource Library to request access to our LGBTQIA+ DV primer, Queer and/or Trans Domestic Violence: A Primer for Lawyers, Advocates, and DV Victims.