Animals and Abuse

Animals are also protected. A person seeking a restraining order may seek to protect any animal, typically a pet dog or cat. The Code provides that "on a showing of good cause, the court may include in a protective order a grant to the petitioner of the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent. The court may order the respondent to stay away from the animal and forbid the respondent from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, molesting, attacking, striking, threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of the animal."

FC 6203 is expanded by FC 6320

There is a link between domestic violence and animal abuse. Abusers will often hurt the animals of a loved one. Abusive people also seek to use animals as a source of manipulation or control. Many who are abused either return to the place of the abuse to feed or protect an animal. It makes sense that shelters should also accommodate the animals of a human partner.

Under FC 6320, constant telephone calls, emails, text messages or other forms of unwanted aggravation could also amount to domestic violence, depending on the level of abuse.

What is Considered Domestic?

Domestic violence is not all violence. Quarrels between unrelated neighbors on the streets, or strangers at the local club are not governed by the Family Code - but these disputes may be covered by CCP 526.6. .

Which Relationships are Governed?

Family Code Section 6211 describes which relationships are governed by the Code: '6211. 'Domestic violence'' is abuse perpetrated against any of the following persons: (a) A spouse or former spouse. (b) A cohabitant or former cohabitant, as defined in Section 6209. (c) A person with whom the respondent is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. (d) A person with whom the respondent has had a child, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child of the female parent under the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12). (e) A child of a party or a child who is the subject of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child to be protected. (f) Any other person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.