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When Stranger Danger – Civil Harassment Restraining Orders In California

Generally, no one wakes up and wants to obtain a restraining order against another party as it requires one to expend the time and energy to go to Court. Having said that, harassment, either in person or online, violence, or threats of violence are serious issues.

As anyone will tell you, if you have an imminent fear of violence, or are experiencing violence at this moment in time, you should stop reading this post, and contact the appropriate authorities. If you have contacted the authorities, you should also consider your civil remedies in Superior Court.

While restraining orders against parties one knows are governed by the Family Code, restraining orders against strangers are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure and are called Civil Harassment Restraining Orders (“CHRO”).

The distinction here is simple: if you are related to a party, or if they are your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, former husband, former wife, former boyfriend, or former girlfriend, the law classifies such problems as potential domestic violence, and the remedy is a domestic violence restraining order.

However, if the relationship is that of a non-romantic roommate, co-worker, neighbor, random stranger, or anyone that does not fall into the above domestic violence category above, the remedy is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders are governed by Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and under this section, individuals are entitled to a CHRO if they meet any of the following conditions:

a) Are a victim of a continual pattern of conduct from another party – meaning, that they have been stalked or harassed in person or online;

b) Believe that there is a credible threat of violence – meaning that a reasonable person would have fear for their safety and the safety of their family; and

c) That they have been harassed, subjected to violence, threats of violence, or a course of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose – meaning that which would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress.

Definition Of Harassment Under The Law

As one can see, the definition of harassment under the law is intentionally broad. This law covers: online stalking; in person stalking; online harassment; in person harassment; harassment by mail, phone, e-mail, or text; assault by the other party; threatened assault by the other party; and various other acts.

In practical terms, the law covers a neighbor, who, for whatever reason, decides to either stalk, harass, Civil Harassment Restraining Order or threaten violence against one’s person or property. The law covers a co-worker, who, for whatever reason, decides to harass a person online.

The law covers a member of a group, who, for whatever reason, decides to harass a person via the phone, text, or e-mail. Finally, the law covers the repeated acts of random strangers who choose to do any of these things or more.

Court-Approved Paperwork

The point of a CHRO is first of all, mental and physical protection. If one obtains a temporary CHRO, or a permanent CHRO, the other party cannot threaten or harass the applicant; cannot go near the applicant’s place of business; home; school; or other areas; and the recipient of a CHRO cannot own or possess a firearm or ammunition.

To get a CHRO, Once the hearing sssscompleted. The Court may elect to enter a permanent order based on the evidence received for a period of time.

Like Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. Civil Harassment Restraining Orders serious business. And a serious matter that one needs to prepared for to get the relief that they want. If you have questions about Civil Harassment

Restraining Orders. Don’t trust what advice you receive from family and friends. Or the internet, but contact an attorney. Contact our office today with any CHRO questions you may have to protect your personal safety.