Workplace Violence FAQs

Workplace Violence — Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to pay a court fee when I ask for a workplace violence restraining order?

A: You do not have to pay a fee if you are asking for a restraining order against a person who:

  • Was violent,
  • Threatened your employee,
  • Stalked your employee, or
  • Acted in a way that scared your employee.

In other cases, you may have to pay a fee unless you qualify for a “fee waiver.” For those cases where there is a fee, find out how much the filing fee is (look for the fee for a "Complaint or other first paper in an unlimited civil case").  Find out more about court fee waivers.

Q: Do I need a lawyer for my restraining order case?

A: It depends. The employer may be represented by a lawyer, but the employer is not required to have a lawyer unless the employer is a corporation. If the employer has a lawyer, the employer’s lawyer will generally be representing the interests of the employee, so the employee usually does not need his or her own lawyer. The respondent may have a lawyer if he or she wants to hire one. Click for help finding a lawyer.

Q: Will I (the employee) see the respondent (person to be restrained) at the court hearing?

A: If the respondent comes to the hearing, yes. But that person does not have the right to speak to you. If you are afraid, tell the court officer when you arrive at court. The court officer will make sure you are safe.

Q: Someone is asking for a restraining order against me. I do not have a green card. What can I do?

A: You do not need a green card to go to court to oppose a workplace violence restraining order. You will not be reported to immigration. BUT having a restraining order against you may affect your immigration status if you are trying to get legal papers. It is VERY important that you talk to an immigration lawyer. Click for help finding a lawyer.

Q: If I move out of California, what happens to the restraining order?

A: Your restraining order works anywhere in the U.S. If you move out of California, contact your new local police so they will know about your orders

Q: What if I do not speak English well?

A: When you file your papers, tell the clerk you will need an interpreter. If a court interpreter is not available, bring someone to interpret for you. Do not ask a child, a protected person, or a witness to interpret for you. For tips to help you work with a court interpreter.

Q: What if I need accommodations because I have a disability?

A: If you have a disability, contact the clerk at least 1 week before the hearing to ask for accommodations. Find your local court. For more help, read For Persons With Disabilities Requesting Accommodations.

Your court's ADA coordinator can also give you more information and help you request accomodations.

Q: What if the restrained person does not obey the order?

A: Call the police. The restrained person can be arrested and charged with a crime. If you are the employee protected by the restraining order, you can call the police yourself; you do not have to get your employer to do this for you. Find out more by reading Enforce a Restraining Order.

Q: What if there is a restraining order against me but the protected employee in the order contacts me?

A: No matter what, you have to follow the court order. The order does not affect the protected person. It only affects what you can do.

Q: What is CLETS?

A: CLETS stands for California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. It is a statewide computer system that lets police know about the existence of a restraining order, including details on the person protected, the person restrained, and the terms of the restraining order.

Q: I have a restraining order against me and I have to sell my gun. How do I sell it?

A: Look for a licensed gun dealer in your area. Look under “Firearms Dealers” in your local phone book’s Yellow Pages. Make sure the dealer is licensed. You will have to give the court paperwork proving that you sold your gun, and only a licensed gun dealer can help you provide this proof. You can use the form Proof of Firearms Turned In or Sold (Form WV-800) to file proof with the court.

For more information about selling your firearms, read How Do I Turn in or Sell My Firearms? (Form WV-800-INFO).

Q: How do I take my gun to law enforcement?

A: Call your local agency to ask about their procedures. Take a copy of the restraining order with you. Go directly to the law enforcement agency. Do not go anywhere else with firearms in your vehicle! Make sure your gun is unloaded when you turn it in.

For more information about turning in your firearms, read How Do I Turn in or Sell My Firearms? (Form WV-800-INFO) and Proof of Firearms Turned In or Sold (Form WV-800).

Q: If I turn my gun in to law enforcement, how long will they keep it?

A: They will keep your gun until the court order ends.

Q: After I give my gun to law enforcement, can I change my mind?

A: Yes. You are allowed to make 1 sale. To do this, a licensed gun dealer must give a bill of sale to your local law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency will give the licensed gun dealer the firearm you are selling.

Q: Do I have to pay the law enforcement agency to keep my gun?

A: You may have to pay the agency for keeping your gun. Contact your local law enforcement agency and ask if a fee is charged. After your court order ends, the agency will tell you how much you need to pay.

For more information about selling your firearms, read How Do I Turn in or Sell My Firearms? (Form WV-800-INFO) and Proof of Firearms Turned In or Sold (Form WV-800).

Q: Where can I read more about domestic violence in the workplace?

A: Read Seven Reasons Why Employers Should Address Domestic Violence. This site from the Family Violence Prevention Fund includes information mostly directed at employers, but there is information that can help victims understand their rights.

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