Serve your long-term gun violence restraining order

After a judge grants you a long-term restraining order, there may be additional steps you need to take, like serving (giving) a copy of the restraining order to the other side. 

If you were ordered to serve and you don't, the police may not be able to enforce your order.


How to serve a restraining order

  • Serve in person, if needed

    Look at item 8(b) on form GV-130 to see if the judge ordered you to have the other side personally served. If item 8(a) or 8(c) are checked, you do not need to have the other served.

  • Contact the sheriff

    Contact the sheriff in the county where the person you want a restraining order against is located. Ask them where you should go to drop off your court papers for service (some departments may allow you to email or fax papers to them). In Shasta or Trinity county, contact the marshal for service. 

    If you've asked the sheriff to serve court papers before, you will follow the same steps as you did before unless the restrained person has moved to another county. There is no fee for the sheriff to serve a gun violence restraining order.

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    Contact the sheriff or marshal as soon as you can. It may take them a couple of weeks to attempt service. 

  • Give the sheriff your court papers

    The sheriff will need a copy of your restraining order (form GV-130) and a blank Request to Terminate Gun Violence Restraining Order (form GV-600). They may have paperwork you need to complete. If you need help completing forms, you may want to bring someone with you to the sheriff's office.

  • Have your server complete a form

    The sheriff should give you paperwork after they serve (or try to serve) your forms

    • If the sheriff was able to serve your forms

      An officer will complete a Proof of Service form. This form shows the court that the other side was served.

    • If the sheriff was unable to serve your forms

      They may complete a form that says they were unsuccessful and will give dates and times they tried to serve the other side. Sometimes this form is called a Declaration of Due Diligence. Talk to the sheriff about how to have the other side served.

    The Proof of Service form must be filed with the court to prove that the restrained person was served. Ask the sheriff if they will file the form with the court. If they will not, you will need to take it to the court to file.

  • File the proof of service form

    Make a copy of the completed proof of service form. Take the original and the copy to the courthouse to file with the court clerk. The clerk will keep the original and return the copy to you. Keep a copy of the proof of service form with each copy of the restraining order (form GV-130). 

    Then you won't need to file a proof of service. Make sure the sheriff gives you a copy or you can get one from the court clerk. Keep a copy of the proof of service form with each copy of the restraining order.

Get help if your restraining order is violated

Call 9-1-1 if you want the police to enforce your restraining order.

Your restraining order is enforceable (will be honored) in all 50 states and U.S. territories, the District of Columbia (D.C.), and all tribal lands.

Enforce your restraining order

What's next?

Now that you have a restraining order, you may need to enforce it if the restrained person violates the order. Also, there are other steps you may want to take to help enforce the order.


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