Domestic Violence - General Information Print this Page
Phone: (415) 444-7040
Location: Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room 113
Office Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE may occur in many forms between two people in an intimate relationship. Physical violence includes kicking, punching, shoving, slapping or any action that hurts your body. Sexual violence includes unwelcome touching, fondling or forced intimacy. Emotional violence includes using coercion, threats or anger to create a controlling and fearful relationship.

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, CALL 911. During hours that the Court is closed, a law enforcement officer can obtain an Emergency Protective Order which lasts from 5 to 7 days. If you are not in immediate danger but need protection from harm or harassment, you may apply for a temporary restraining order. If the person from whom you are seeking protection is undocumented, you may want to discuss this issue with one of the agencies listed below.

If you need counseling, emergency shelter, help with requesting your restraining order, or someone to accompany you to court, you may contact one of the following agencies for assistance:

  • Legal Self Help Center - Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room C-44, San Rafael, (415) 444-7130.
  • Family & Children's Law Center - 1401 Los Gamos Drive, Suite 200, San Rafael, (415) 492-9230 or click here.
  • Center for Domestic Peace - 734 A Street, San Rafael, 457-2464 or click here.

To determine whether you may be at risk for a potentially dangerous domestic violence incident, please click here to use a LETHALITY RISK SELF ASSESSMENT AND SAFETY PLANNING GUIDE.

(You may need this free reader Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print the guide.)

There is NO FILING FEE to apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. You may apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order if you have been the victim of any of the following:

  • Actual physical violence
  • Stalking
  • Sexual abuse
  • A serious threat of physical violence
  • Harassing and annoying phone calls
  • Destruction of personal property


You have, or have had, a close personal relationship with the party you are asking to have restrained. Under the law, a relationship is defined as "close" if at least one of the following is true:

  • You are married or were formerly married to the other party.
  • You have or formerly had an engagement or dating relationship with the other party.
  • You and the other party have a child or children together.
  • You are related to the other party by blood, marriage or adoption.
  • You and the other party are living together, or formerly lived together, as members of a "household."



There are four types of restraining orders:
  1. Domestic Violence
  2. Civil Harassment
  3. Elder or Dependent Abuse
  4. Workplace Violence
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