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May 17, 2011 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Can I obtain a domestic violence restraining order in California against a person who lives in another state?

I'm in CA. The ex is in Oregon. He has harassed me by phone, text, and email for the last four years, after I broke up with him and told him never to contact me again (he never physically abused me, but he did verbally abuse me). He has a felony record of violence and has gang affiliations. I have clearly and plainly told him not to contact me, and he won't stop. I don't know what his current address is but I know what town he's in and I'm sure with his record the police could find him easily. Can I obtain a restraining order in CA against him? Unfortunately I didn't save any of his emails but I could probably provide phone records showing when he texted or called me. I have changed my phone number and email address, but I'm scared he might one day snap and come looking for me, as he is clearly irrational and not able to let go.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Take a look at this information from the Department of Justice, and call your local domestic violence center. If you're in LA, specifically, call 800-978-3600.

(Restraining orders are applicable across state lines, but you want to talk to a legal expert, and the domestic violence center staff can point you in the right direction.)
posted by SMPA at 6:11 PM on May 17, 2011

My wife, who works at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, urges you to call them at 800-799-SAFE. They'll refer you to a number of resources in your area, one of which may be Good luck.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're dealing with anything related to domestic violence or stalking, I strongly, strongly urge you to check out "The Gift Of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. I could go into a long tangent about it, but I'll sum it up by saying that it's an incredible read, and I wish like hell I had read it four years ago.

Good luck to you!
posted by hypotheticole at 6:31 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

You don't actually need to do it this way. You can contact the state courthouse in the county in which your ex resides and file your order there by mail. Basically, call the clerk of court and tell them what you want to do. They'll walk you through the process.

Read this for more detailed info.
posted by valkyryn at 3:33 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Valkyryn has a good idea for you. Filling for a restraining order where you live might give your ex a reason to visit your area to contest it.

If you are worried he's going to snap, come looking for you, and cause you some physical harm... then, well, you need to keep in mind that the restraining order will not magically prevent that. In that case you need to consider what you will need to do to hide yourself from him for good.
posted by yohko at 7:38 PM on May 20, 2011

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