Another important piece of recent California legislation affects the way restraining orders are issued regarding domestic violence cases.  AB 454 acts to amend several CCP, Family, and Welfare and Institutions codes to require specified notice to a protected party of a proceeding to modify or terminate a protective order before its expiration when that proceeding is brought by someone other than the protected party.

As it stands now, the law authorizes California courts to issue injunctions enjoining parties from certain acts and behaviors in a variety of circumstances.  These include:

  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Cases involving harassment
  • Potential violence at a post-secondary school campus, and
  • Workplace violence

The present law also permits a court to terminate or modify these protective orders, which may include stay-away and residence exclusion orders, on written stipulation filed with the court or on the motion of a party.

AB 454 requires – if an action is filed for the purpose of terminating or modifying specified protective orders before their expiration by a party other than the protected party – that the party who is protected by the order be given specified notice of the proceeding to hear that action before the hearing.

This 2011 law also requires a court to deny the motion to modify or terminate the order without prejudice or continue the hearing if the party cannot be notified before the hearing, provided that on a showing of good cause, a court may specify another method for service of process that is reasonably designed to afford actual notice to the protected party.  Lastly, AB 454 permits the protected person to waive his or her right to notice under specified circumstances.