Available 24/7 • All California Counties 310-991-9179

Civil Harassment

In California, a civil harassment restraining order (CHRO) is a court order that prohibits a person from harassing, threatening, or stalking another person. It can also provide other relief, such as ordering the person to stay away from the victim's residence or workplace. A CHRO can be obtained by a person who has been the victim of civil harassment or who has a reasonable fear of imminent civil harassment.

To obtain a CHRO in California, the victim must file a petition with the court requesting the order. The petition must include specific information about the harassment or stalking, including the incidents of harassment or stalking, the relationship between the victim and the person who is harassing them, and any other relevant information. The victim must also provide their current address and the address of the person who is harassing them if known.

If the court finds that there is a reasonable likelihood of civil harassment, the court may issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that can last for up to 21 days. A hearing will be held within 21 days to determine whether a longer-term CHRO should be issued, which can last for up to five years.

If a CHRO is issued, the person who is subject to the order will be prohibited from harassing, threatening, or stalking the victim, as well as from contacting the victim in any other way. They may also be ordered to stay away from the victim's residence, workplace, or other places where the victim is likely to be.

Violating a CHRO is a criminal offense, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. Victims of civil harassment can also seek assistance from law enforcement to enforce the order if the person who is subject to the order violates it.

To obtain a civil harassment restraining order in California, you must follow these steps:

  1. Determine if you meet the requirements: To obtain a civil harassment restraining order, you must show that you have been harassed by the person you are seeking protection from. Harassment can include behavior such as stalking, threatening, or unwanted communication. The harassment must be severe, persistent, or pervasive and must cause you to fear for your safety or the safety of your family.

  2. Complete the necessary paperwork: To apply for a civil harassment restraining order, you will need to complete the appropriate court forms, which are available on the California Courts website or at your local courthouse. The forms typically include a Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders, a Temporary Restraining Order, and a Declaration.

  3. File the paperwork with the court: Once you have completed the necessary forms, you will need to file them with the court clerk in the county where you live or where the harassment occurred. The clerk will give you a court date for your hearing.

  4. Serve the other party: You will need to have the other party served with a copy of the paperwork and notice of the court hearing. You can have someone else serve the papers, or you can have them served by the sheriff's department or a professional process server.

  5. Attend the court hearing: You will need to attend the court hearing on the date and time specified by the court. At the hearing, you will need to present evidence and testimony to support your request for a restraining order. If the court grants your request, a permanent restraining order will be issued.

It is important to note that violating a civil harassment restraining order can result in serious legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. It is also important to take steps to protect yourself while waiting for the hearing, such as changing your phone number or address and seeking support from a domestic violence or victim advocacy organization.

In California, a person can seek a Civil Harassment Restraining Order to prevent a person from  harassing, abusing, stalking, or threatening conduct to him or her. Civil Harassment Orders are intended to protect a person from harm and threats of harm from someone else. When properly brought before a Court, a permanent restraining order can remain in place for a period of up to five years and can prevent the restrained person from engaging in a host of harassing conduct. Violating the terms of a CHRO is a crime governed by Penal Code 273.6 and other charges and can lead to misdemeanor charges in most cases. A violation of Penal Code 273.6 is punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00. Multiple violations can bring multiple years in jail.

The conduct addressed by a CHRO is conduct that is prohibited by statute as defined in Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6. “Harassment” as that statute defines it generally includes unlawful violence (such as assault, battery, or stalking), a credible threat of violence, and/or conduct that is annoying or harassing that serves no legitimate purpose. Harassing conduct can include telephone calls, email, or social media messages, and must be directed at the protected party by someone who is not in a “close relationship.” This means that a CHRO cannot be obtained against a spouse, ex-spouse, domestic partner, and/or cohabitant. The harassing conduct must also cause substantial emotional distress.

Compared to criminal cases or other forms of civil liability the burden of proof is much lower in restraining order proceedings There is no jury involved in these kinds of proceedings making these cases far easier to win then when you are faced with criminal charges. A Judge or Commissioner will act as both the Judge and the Jury in this case determining what evidence should and should not come in and then rendering the decision as to who, if anyone, was right in the case before them.

The long and short term impact of receiving one of these orders can also be very profound and can affect your freedom, your job, school and many other rights.

Contact Me Today

The Law Office of Brian Michaels is committed to answering your questions about your restraining order in California.

Brian Michaels offers a free consultation and he'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact Brian today to schedule an appointment.

Office Locations

Century City Office
1925 Century Park East,
Suite 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Newport Beach Office
260 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
San Diego Office
5755 Oberlin Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
Palm Springs Office
777 E Tahquitz Way
Palm Springs, CA 92660
San Francisco Office
739 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94108