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California’s Uniform Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protective Orders

A foreign protection order is valid if it meets all of the specified criteria

By Chris Micheli, August 19, 2022 3:14 pm

California has a number of formal acts in statute. Family Code Division 10, Part 5 provides the Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act, which is contained in Sections 6400 to 6409. Part 5 was added in 2001 by Chapter 816. Section 6400 names the Act.

Section 6401 defines the following terms: “foreign protection order”; “issuing state”; “mutual foreign protection order”; “protected individual”; “protection order”; “respondent”; “state”; and, “tribunal.”

Section 6402 provides that a person authorized by the law of this state to seek enforcement of a protection order may seek enforcement of a valid foreign protection order in a tribunal of this state. The tribunal is required to enforce the terms of the order, including terms that provide relief that a tribunal of this state would lack power to provide but for this section. 

A tribunal of this state may not enforce a foreign protection order issued by a tribunal of a state that does not recognize the standing of a protected individual to seek enforcement of the order. In addition, a tribunal of this state is required to enforce the provisions of a valid foreign protection order which govern custody and visitation, if the order was issued in accordance with the jurisdictional requirements governing the issuance of custody and visitation orders in the issuing state.

A foreign protection order is valid if it meets all of the specified criteria. And, a foreign protection order valid on its face is prima facie evidence of its validity. A tribunal of this state may enforce provisions of a mutual foreign protection order which favor a respondent only if both of the specified criteria are true.

Section 6403 provides that a law enforcement officer of this state, upon determining that there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists and that the order has been violated, is required to enforce the order as if it were the order of a tribunal of this state. 

If a foreign protection order is not presented, a law enforcement officer of this state may consider other information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that a valid foreign protection order exists. Registration or filing of an order in this state is not required for the enforcement of a valid foreign protection order pursuant to this part.

Section 6404 requires a foreign protection order, upon request of the person in possession of the order, to be registered with a court of this state in order to be entered in the California Restraining and Protective Order System. The Judicial Council is required to adopt rules of court for this purpose. And, a fee cannot be charged for the registration of a foreign protection order.

Section 6405 provides that there is no civil liability on the part of, and no cause of action for false arrest or false imprisonment against, a peace officer who makes an arrest pursuant to a foreign protection order that is regular upon its face, if the peace officer, in making the arrest, acts in good faith and has reasonable cause to believe that the person against whom the order is issued has notice of the order and has committed an act in violation of the order.

Section 6406 provides that a protected individual who pursues remedies under this part is not precluded from pursuing other legal or equitable remedies against the respondent. Section 6407 requires consideration to be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that also have adopted the act.

Section 6408 provides a severability clause. Section 6409 provides that this part applies to protection orders issued before January 1, 2002, and to continuing actions for enforcement of foreign protection orders commenced before January 1, 2002. 

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