Family Code 245 Gives the Court the Power to Continue Restraining Order Hearings

When will the court continue the restraining order hearing and what conditions can the court attach?

Family Code 245

Family Code 245 is all about continuances of restraining order hearings

Family Code 245 gives the court the power to continue a restraining order hearing. Here is what section 245 states.

"(a) The respondent shall be entitled, as a matter of course, to one continuance for a reasonable period, to respond to the petition.

(b) Either party may request a continuance of the hearing, which the court shall grant on a showing of good cause. The request may be made in writing before or at the hearing or orally at the hearing. The court may also grant a continuance on its own motion.

(c) If the court grants a continuance, any temporary restraining order that has been issued shall remain in effect until the end of the continued hearing, unless otherwise ordered by the court. In granting a continuance, the court may modify or terminate a temporary restraining order.

(d) If the court grants a continuance, the extended temporary restraining order shall state on its face the new date of expiration of the order.

(e) A fee shall not be charged for the extension of the temporary restraining order."

Analysis of Family Code 245

  1. Section (a) means the court must grant a person responding to a restraining order one continuance as a matter of right if he or she asks for it.
  2. Section (b) gives the court the power to grant any written or verbal continuance request. This applies to both the petitioner and respondent. Family Code 245 gives the court the power to continue the hearing even if neither party asks for it.
  3. Section (c) states the restraining order reissues to the new hearing date, unless the court decides to not reissue it or the court modifies it. In our experience, the failure to reissue it happens if the petitioner asks for the continuance and the court believes it is unreasonable to keep the temporary order in effect.
  4. Sections (d) and (e) are self-explanatory.

Restraining order actions are serious and do not represent yourself

Family Code 245 gives both parties the ability to ask for a continuance. Except for section (a), it is dangerous to assume the court will grant it, just because you ask for it. Retain experienced family law representation. 

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