Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)

File a temporary restraining order.

In this page:
What is a temporary restraining order (TRO)?

A temporary restraining order is a court order that prevents a person from approaching or contacting another person or organization. The court issues TROs to protect people against domestic and workplace violence, elder abuse, sexual or physical assault, harassment, or stalking.

Get help

Legal self-help at the San Francisco Superior Court

San Francisco Superior Court: Restraining Orders
Type of available restraining orders and eligibility requirements

SFSD Domestic Violence Survivor Resource Information
Domestic Violence Crisis Lines, Emergency Shelter, Law Enforcement, Legal Support, LGBTQ Support, Batterer’s Intervention

Look to End Abuse Permanently (LEAP)
Healthcare providers and volunteers ending intimate partner and family violence 

National Domestic Violence Hotline
(800) 799-7233

Filing a temporary restraining order

The Superior Court issues TROs. To file a restraining order, visit the Civic Center Courthouse website to learn about the process and get the forms you need. 

If you need help filing a TRO, the ACCESS Center can show you how to fill out the forms, explain the process, and help you get ready for court. The Access Center is located at: 

Civic Center Courthouse
400 McAllister St. (between Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue, near City Hall)
San Francisco, CA 94102

Getting the other party served

Anyone over age 18 who is not named in the temporary restraining order may serve the TRO. The person who serves the TRO must complete the Proof of Service. This is included in the packet the court gives to the person who requests the TRO. 

You may also contact the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office to serve a TRO in San Francisco. If the person you want to serve is in another county, please contact the Sheriff of that county. 

To have the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) serve a TRO:

  • Go in person to the SFSO headquarters at City Hall, Room 456 or submit via email (please see https://www.sfsheriff.com/services/civil-processes for further information)
  • Provide two complete sets of service documents
  • Complete and sign the SFSO instructions for service. Only you or your attorney may sign the instructions
  • Provide a fixed address where the person to be served either lives or works
  • The court waives service fees for most TRO cases. If not, please pay the service fee to SFSO.

The Sheriff’s Office will make up to three attempts to deliver your restraining order. We do not serve restraining orders on weekends and holidays. SFSO will provide proof of service showing whether or not we delivered your order. If we are unsuccessful, you may refile your restraining order with the courts.  

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office cannot provide legal advice. If you have a legal problem, we suggest contacting an attorney. 

CA Business & Professions Code Section 6125

Government Code 24004