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Name: J.H. v. G.H.
Case #: A160303
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/28/2021
Summary

The court did not err when it issued a domestic violence restraining order protecting mother from harassment by father, but which did not include the minors. G.H. and J.H. separated in August 2018, following an act of domestic violence perpetrated by J.H. against G.H. in the presence of their two minor children. A dependency case was initiated at the time, which resolved in January 2019, with a stipulation that the parents would share joint legal custody, G.H. would have sole physical custody, and J.H. would have supervised visitation. In August 2019, G.H. filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO), seeking a stay away order from herself and the minors, and requested that visitation with J.H be stopped. The court granted a two-year DVRO enjoining J.H. from attacking, harassing, or contacting G.H., but declined to include the minors as protected parties, and ordered supervised visitation. The appellate court affirmed the orders. Pursuant to Family Code section 6340, subdivision (a)(1), a court may issue orders enjoining a party from attacking, threatening, contacting, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and also of other named family or household members following notice and a hearing. When determining whether to make any of these orders, the court shall consider whether the failure to make any of these orders may jeopardize the safety of the petitioner and the children for whom the custody or visitation orders are sought. The court has the discretion to make these orders on a showing of good cause. The court must consider the totality of the circumstances and consider whether the failure to issue the order would jeopardize the safety of the child. In declining to include the children here as protected parties, the court provided two reasons: (1) it did not believe J.H. presently posed any threat or danger to the children; and (2) it wanted the children and J.H. to begin working on repairing their relationship, which was in the children’s long-term best interests. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the court’s decision to exclude the children from the DVRO was not outside the bounds of reason and thus, the trial court did not err.