Temporary Gun Violence Restraining Orders (21 days):
If someone you know is experiencing a crisis and is in danger of harming themselves or others, a GVRO may be an essential first step in preventing gun violence by removing guns, ammunition, and magazines from the restrained person’s possession.
Temporary Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) can be issued for a 21 day period if petitioned for by law enforcement or family members, household members, employers, some co-workers, certain teachers/school employees. Eligible family and household members include spouses, parents, grandparents, children, stepparents, stepchildren, domestic partners, siblings, or roommates and persons who have regularly resided on the same property as the person to be restrained in the last six months.
If you are in immediate danger, please contact local law enforcement or dial 911. If you feel unsafe or are concerned about a relationship with a domestic partner, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
How to obtain a temporary GVRO:
- Read this document to decide if a GVRO is right for your situation: GV-100-INFO.
- Obtain and fill out forms GV-110, GV-109, CLETS-001, and GV-100 (used for the final GVRO). Forms may be obtained online here, you may also visit your local Superior or Civil courthouse to get assistance obtaining the correct forms.
- Have your forms reviewed at the court self-help center or by a lawyer.
- Make at least 5 copies of your completed forms and turn one copy of all completed forms into the Superior Court in the county where the person to be restrained lives.
- A Superior Court may issue a temporary GVRO, when there is a “substantial likelihood” that the person to be restrained “poses a significant danger in the near future of causing personal injury” to self or others by having access to a firearm and when the removal of firearms is necessary to prevent injury; and because less restrictive alternatives have been tried and found to be ineffective, or are inadequate or inappropriate for the circumstances. Temporary GVRO petitions are typically decided on the same day they are filed.
- Petitioning does not involve a criminal complaint and does not prevent you from seeking any other available legal remedy.
- If a temporary GVRO is issued by the court, the respondent must be “served” in person with a copy of the temporary order (Form GV-110) and notice of the hearing. State law allows for a county sheriff or marshal to serve the restrained person with the order and remove all of the respondent’s firearms, ammunition, and magazines, at no cost to you. (See SB-1200 for more info.) After the order is served, the officer must fill out a Proof of Personal Service (Form GV-200) and give it back to you.
- Serving a Gun Violence Restraining Order can be very dangerous. If an order has been issued, the Judicial Council of California recommends a law enforcement officer serve the order. The Judicial Council of California also recommends that you never ask a friend or family member, or private process server to serve a GVRO, or serve the order yourself.
- If you have questions about serving the order on the restrained person, read Form GV-200-INFO or visit this page from the Judicial Council of California.
Once issued, the temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order will be in effect for no more than 21 days.
When an order is issued, the Superior Court will schedule a subsequent hearing within 21 days in which both you and the respondent have an opportunity to explain whether a final, lasting between one and five years, GVRO should be issued.
Before the hearing, the subject can file a form with the court stating that they agree to voluntarily relinquish their firearms and ammunition within 48 hours. This filing also indicates that the subject is not contesting the GVRO. The judge will still examine evidence in order to set the duration of the GVRO and the GVRO can still be renewed despite the voluntary surrender.
After the hearing, if the court determines that the respondent continues to pose a significant danger to self or others and removal of firearms is needed to prevent injury, then the GVRO will be extended to a final order. This additional order can be set to last, one to five year,s and can be renewed (see more below).
Final Gun Violence Restraining Orders (one to five years):
Final Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) issued for a one to five year period are available to law enforcement, family and household members, employers, some co-workers, certain teachers/school employees. Family and household members include spouses, parents, grandparents, children, stepparents, stepchildren, domestic partners, siblings, or roommates and persons who have regularly resided on the same property as the person to be restrained in the last six months.
If someone you know has firearms in his or her possession and is behaving in an unsafe manner with those firearms by acting violently, making threats, or has otherwise shown that his or her gun use is unsafe, you should consider obtaining a final GVRO. This order can prevent gun violence by removing guns, ammunition, and magazines from the restrained person’s possession.
How to obtain a final GVRO:
- Obtain and fill out forms GV-100, GV-109, CLETS-001, and GV-110 (if applying for a temporary GVRO that would go into effect before the hearing). Forms may be obtained online here or may be available in person at your local Superior or Civil courthouse.
- Note: You do not need to petition for a temporary GVRO to obtain a final GVRO, you may apply separately so long as you attend the hearing that will be scheduled within 21 days of filing your petition and that the respondent of the petition is served with a notice of the hearing.
- If the petition for a temporary GVRO was denied by a judge, you may still be able to obtain a final GVRO at the court hearing that the judge will schedule within 21 days of approving or denying the temporary order. New evidence may be considered at the hearing, and the judge may find the final GVRO to be more appropriate for the respondent.
- If a temporary GVRO was issued, but the respondent was not served (such as when a respondent is not able to be located), you should fill out and file a Form GV-115 to request the court to hold the hearing at a later date.
- A final GVRO may be issued by a Superior Court after a hearing if your petition shows by “clear and convincing evidence that the subject poses a significant danger of injury to self or others” by having access to a firearm, and that the removal of firearms is necessary to prevent injury, after the respondent of the petition has the opportunity to respond to the order. The judge can set the duration of a final GVRO between one and five years.
- When attending the hearing, bring any documents (see list below) that help prove the reasons you think a final GVRO (Form GV-130) is necessary. Also bring 2 copies of all GVRO forms filed with the court, including the Proof of Service, if applicable. Some of the documents and other evidence that may help your case include:
- Witnesses or written statements from witnesses (use form MC-030)
- Any relevant photos
- Medical or police reports
- Damaged property
- Relevant letters, emails, or telephone messages
- During the hearing, the court will assess the following criteria to determine whether to issue a final GVRO:
- A recent threat or act of violence directed toward self or others
- A violation of a domestic violence emergency protective order that is in effect at the time the court is considering the petition
- A recent violation of an unexpired domestic violence protective order
- A conviction for any crime that prohibits purchase and possession of firearms under California law (read more about individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms in California here)
- A pattern of violence or threatened violence within the prior 12 months directed toward self or others
- The court may consider other evidence that is indicative of an increased risk for violence, such as the unlawful and reckless use of a firearm
- Voluntary Relinquishment: The subject of an order can choose to not contest the GVRO. They can file a form before the court holds a hearing, indicating that they will voluntarily relinquish all their firearms and ammunition within 48 hours and for the duration of the GVRO. The judge will set the duration of the GVRO for up to 5 years and the GVRO can still be renewed.
After the hearing:
- If the final GVRO is approved and the restrained party has yet to surrender their firearms, ammunition, and magazines to law enforcement, they must do so right away. The petitioner may ask that law enforcement serve the order and remove the firearms, ammunition, and magazines, at no cost to the petitioner (see SB-1200 for more details).
- If the court issues a restraining order at the hearing, the judge must sign a written order on Form GV-130. You should keep a copy of this order at all times.
- If the respondent was at the hearing, you do not have to legally serve him or her with a copy of Form GV-130. If the respondent was not at the hearing, then they do need to be served a copy, similar to a 21-day temporary GVRO.
- After a GVRO is issued, you may choose to terminate the order if circumstances change. Click here to learn more about this process.
- You may renew a final GVRO within three months of the initial GVRO ending (but not after it ends). Click here to learn more about this process.
Source: California Judicial Council.
|Can a Gun Violence Restraining Order Help Me?
|Read first. Information sheet on how to ask for a Gun Violence Restraining Order.
|Petition for Gun Violence Restraining Order
|Use to start the court case to get a Gun Violence Restraining Order that will last 21 days if approved by a judicial officer before a hearing.
|Notice of Court Hearing
|Will tell you when to go to court.
|Temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order
|Will tell you if the judge signed the temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order (order before hearing).
|Confidential CLETS Information
|Fill out when you file for your restraining order. Gives information about your case to all law enforcement agencies through a computerized database.
|Use if you need more space to answer some of the questions when you fill out your Petition.
|Civil Case Cover Sheet
|Required when you file any new civil case.
|Use for witness statements or to give more information.
|What Is “Proof of Personal Service”?
|Gives you information on serving your Gun Violence Restraining Order papers.
|Proof of Personal Service
|Use to prove that you had a law enforcement officer give the person to be restrained a copy of the request, notice of court hearing, and temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order (if issued) in person.
|Proof of Service by Mail
|Use to prove that you had someone 18 or older (NOT you) mail to the restrained person a copy of your Gun Violence Restraining Order After Hearing (Form GV-130). Make sure you can in fact serve Form GV-130 by mail in your case.
|How Can I Respond to a Petition for a Gun Violence Restraining Order?
|Serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.
|Response to Petition for a Gun Violence Restraining Order
|Leave this form blank and serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.
|Proof of Firearms Turned In, Sold, or Stored
|Leave this form blank and serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.
|Gun Violence Restraining Order After Hearing
|Use to obtain a final order. If the judge grants a final order after a hearing, he or she will sign this form.