On January 5, 2021, the Third District Court of Appeal, in a case called In re Marriage of Carlisle, ruled, in brief, that trial courts have the jurisdiction to renew domestic violence restraining orders even though the old order’s appeal is still pending if doing so would serve the ends of justice. This is an important win for domestic violence survivors seeking continuity of safety from their abusers.
During divorce proceedings in April 2015, wife filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) against her then-husband. She got a two-year DVRO and then her husband appealed. While that appeal remained pending, wife filed a request to renew the DVRO a little more than a month before the order was set to expire. The trial court granted her request and renewed the DVRO for five years. (In re Marriage of Carlisle (2021) 60 Cal.App.5th 244 [274 Cal.Rptr.3d 483, 484].)
Wife sought stability in the arrangement. If the appeal was successful, the domestic violence order would immediately dissolve but she would have been protected through its adjudication. If the appeal was rejected, she would continue with the status quo. Her safety and the safety of her daughter, another protected party, was paramount.
The Appeals Court agreed with her. A domestic violence restraining order is a type of injunction calling on the abuser to refrain from doing certain actions. “Where an injunction of limited duration is appealed, the trial court has power to extend the injunction pending disposition of the appeal if doing so would serve the ends of justice.” (Citation.) Thus, the trial court had the authority to renew the DVRO pending disposition of the appeal from the granting of the original DVRO if doing so would serve the ends of justice. (Ibid.)” (In re Marriage of Carlisle, supra, 60 Cal.App.5th 244 [274 Cal.Rptr.3d at 492].) In short, renewing the DVRO “served the ends of justice” because it maintained her safety during the litigation process.
The interplay of the Superior Court and Appeals Court with respect to domestic violence is not clear-cut. If you are litigating domestic violence in both courts, schedule a free initial consultation with The Law Offices of Jane Migachyov NOW.