Before you move to a new state, it’s important to check that your protective order will still be valid. California typically enforces out-of-state protective orders that other states issue.
Types of orders
If your out-of-state protective order is to prevent another person from contacting you or going near you, then California can enforce it. Protective orders that prevent threatening acts, harassment, domestic violence and sexual violence are valid under California law. However, the court that gave you the order must have had the authority to do so. California also requires that the abuser received notice of your protective order and had the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Otherwise, California might not be able to enforce the order.
Keep a copy of your order
Keeping a physical copy of your order with you is a faster way of proving to law enforcement that a person can’t come into contact with you. The NCIC Protection Order File, a federal database of protective orders, doesn’t have all state orders. Each state is responsible for uploading orders into the database, but not all do so. In 2016, more than 700,000 protection orders weren’t in the NCIC Protection Order File. This is why it’s important to have a hard copy of your order with you.
What happens when you register in California?
It’s free to register your protective order in California. Fill out and sign the Register Out-of-State Restraining Order form (DV-600) and submit it to the court clerk. Your abuser won’t receive notice from the court when you register your protective order in California, unless you specify that you want them to. Double-check with the clerk that your abuser won’t receive notice to prevent any mistakes.
Although out-of-state orders are valid in California, you may want to register in California if you move here. Make sure to keep a hard copy of your order with you in case you need to show it to law enforcement. States don’t always promptly add orders into the national database.