How to Deal With Domestic Violence During COVID-19

Domestic Violence

There is a growing concern amongst professionals regarding a rise in domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the period from March 1 through April 25, 2020, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department logged 2,309 domestic-related calls. This is roughly a three percent increase from the 2,237 calls handled during the same date range in 2019. 

How to Deal With Domestic Violence During Covid-19

Family Code Section 6203 defines domestic violence as intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, sexual assault, placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or another, or any other behavior that could be ordered under the Domestic Violence Protection Act.

It is important to remember abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault. Abuse can come in the form of disturbing another’s peace, stalking, or harassing through email, phone calls, and text messages. 

During this unprecedented time, the San Diego Superior Court has remained open for new domestic violence cases, accepts Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders even though the courts are closed for hearings. 

If a victim suffered domestic violence, he or she can contact the police to make a report and file for a restraining order protecting them from the other party. A Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order can include orders for custody and visitation, and exclusive use, possession, and control of a residence. 

Resources for Victims

Multiple resources throughout the county remain open for victims of domestic violence. Victims have access to telehealth counseling, transitional housing, and domestic violence shelters. 

A victim who has suffered domestic violence can call 2-1-1 for information and referrals for community, health, and disaster resources. Additionally, YWCA, Women’s Resource Center, San Diego LGBTQ Community Center, Center for Community Solutions, and Community Resource Center are all operating and offering shelter to victims of abuse. 

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should not hesitate to call the police or seek help—such as seeking access to a shelter, if you are in immediate danger. Your next step should be to obtain a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order through family court. 

Restraining Order Process

When you request a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order, you must complete out the correct forms and give them to a court clerk. You should also make copies of any documents you would like the court to consider such as text messages, phone records, photographs, or police reports. 

The clerk will take your paperwork to a judge for review of your documents to determine whether to grant the Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order. If the request is granted, the documents will be given to the sheriff to be served on the other party. There will be a hearing date set, so the other party must be served before this hearing date. 

Once a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order is granted, it is enforceable by the sheriff if it is violated. Any custody and visitation orders contained in the Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order are also enforceable. 

Every courthouse in San Diego County (Downtown, Vista, El Cajon, and Chula Vista) is processing requests for Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders during the pandemic. Resources are available countywide to assist victims through this uncertain time. 

Rules to Follow After Being Served

If you have been served with a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order and are being accused of domestic violence, you need to read the order (Form DV-110) very carefully so you understand exactly what the restraining order prohibits you from doing. 

For example, if you are restrained from contacting the petitioner, do not reach out to members of his or her family or friends and ask them to pass messages onto the protected party. This is a violation of the restraining order and violations of the temporary order are considered when the court is determining whether to grant a permanent domestic violence restraining order. 

If you are a restrained party, you are not required to serve a response to the restraining order on the other party, but if there are documents you would like the court to consider, you should serve those on the other party before the hearing date. 

Filing a Declaration

You also have the option of filing a declaration setting forth the reasons you don’t believe a permanent restraining order should be granted. Keep in mind this declaration can be used against you if there is a criminal case for the domestic violence incident or incidents. 

When the court is operating at full capacity, a hearing will be set for approximately 21 days after the initial domestic violence temporary restraining order is granted or denied. The hearing date can be found in the DV-109 Form. 

Due to the court’s closure related to COVID-19, the hearing date may be after 21 days, as the court’s reopening depends on the governor lifting the shelter in place order. 

Safety is the Courts Priority

The courts have indicated domestic violence temporary restraining orders will be given the highest priority once the courts reopen, regardless of whether the court opens in its entirety or a limited capacity. 

Domestic Violence in California is taken very seriously. If you are a victim of domestic violence or if you have been served with a restraining order, you must understand your rights and how to proceed with the restraining order hearing. 

Here at JWB Family Law, we care about you and want to see you safe and protected. Call us today to schedule a consultation through phone or video using Zoom, so we can be the support team you need during this time.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.

Categories

Connect With Us

            

Contact

San Diego Office
1620 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619.234.6123

Temecula Office
43537 Ridge Park Dr, Suite 100
Temecula, CA 92590
Phone: 951.297.3871

El Centro Office
300 S Imperial Ave, #10
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: 760.460.4608

            

What Cat Ears Have to Do With Divorce

Quite a bit, as it turns out, and it has nothing to do with how you feel about felines. A study from researchers at the University of Washington shows divorce filings peak at two distinct times of the year – March and August....

FL-150 Forms – What you need to know

A frustrating but mandatory part of the divorce process in California is completing financial disclosure forms. One of these forms is the Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150), which requires both the Petitioner and Respondent to detail their earnings and spending. ...

Who gets inheritance money after a divorce?

Here are examples of community property and separate property:

Child custody schedule options and examples

When you are in a proceeding to decide how to share the custody and visitation of your children, many decisions must be made by you and the other parent on how you will co-parent your minor children. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make a...

What’s worth fighting for in a divorce?

Here are examples of community property and separate property:

San Diego domestic violence resources

As in other counties in California, San Diego has resources you can contact to help you in a domestic violence case. A nd a dedicated family law and divorce attorney can help you legally enforce your separation from an abusive partner.

Military spouse benefits after a divorce

It is important to discuss all these topics with the military spouse divorce attorneys you retain to help guide you through the dissolution of your marriage. Military family law can be complex when it comes to divorce.

What not to post on social media during your divorce

Anything you post on social media during a divorce can, and likely will, be used against you in your dissolution proceedings. It is extremely important to avoid posting about getting divorced on all your social media profiles because anything that can be construed...

Helping a friend through divorce isn’t easy

A person going through a divorce is often dealing with the loss of time with their kids, a portion of their retirement, their house, and even relationships with their in-laws.

Child custody during the divorce process

There are two types of custody: legal and physical.