Levine Legislation to Help Victims of Domestic Violence File Restraining Orders Online Passes State Legislature

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Legislation by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D – Marin County) that requires all court facilities that process domestic violence restraining orders (DVRO) and temporary restraining orders (TRO) to allow petitions to be submitted electronically, has been approved by the California State Legislature and is now awaiting action on the Governor’s Desk. Last week, AB 887 (Levine) was approved by the State Senate on a bipartisan vote of 38 to 0 on Wednesday and the State Assembly concurred the Senate amendments on a bipartisan vote of 79-0 on Thursday.

County shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus have affected all aspects of life, but have been particularly difficult for victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence shelters have been limited in the services they can provide and victims often have been forced to be confined with their abuser.

For victims, the process to seek a TRO or a DVRO has been complicated by the limited access to and the closure of the courts. Even during a pandemic, timely access to the courts is critical to protecting vulnerable individuals and preventing harm to victims of domestic violence.

Currently, a victim can file a request for a TRO or DVRO in person, which is logistically difficult because of the pandemic and because the abuser is more likely to be aware of the location of the victim. Without alternatives to file a TRO or a DVRO, victims of domestic violence will continue to be exposed to harm with limited opportunities to escape a dangerous cycle of violence.

“AB 887 will provide victims of domestic violence with safe and timely access to the courts by being able to file retraining orders online,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine. “This bill is essential to connecting victims to the help they need and getting them out of a dangerous cycle of violence.”

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Assemblymember Marc Levine represents California’s 10th Assembly District, which includes Marin and Sonoma counties.
Connect with Assemblymember Levine on social media: @AsmMarcLevine.