Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
Nobody deserves to be abused, stalked, harassed, or threatened. If you have been a target of this behavior from someone outside your household, you may be able to obtain a civil harassment restraining order. San Diego restraining order lawyer Roseline D. Feral also works diligently to defend people who are being restrained by these types of orders when they are based on unfounded allegations. Obtaining or defending against a restraining order tends to be a complicated process, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.The Role of a Civil Harassment Restraining Order
In general, civil harassment consists of abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment. Section 527.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure defines “harassment” as:
- Violence that is not lawful, such as assault, battery, or stalking; or
- Credible threats of violence; and
- The threats of violence seriously frighten, annoy, or harass an individual and are not justified by some legitimate purpose.
A civil harassment restraining order is a court order that protects victims of the type of harassment described above. This type of restraining order forbids a restrained person from annoying, harassing, striking, following, or disturbing the peace of the protected individual. This may include contacting the individual or members of their household, going near them (typically within 100 yards) or members of their household, going near their workplace or their school or their child’s school, or having a gun. Depending on the circumstances, the court may issue a restraining order for up to five years. The presence of a civil harassment restraining order is shared by police officers across the state of California.
It is important to note that civil harassment is different from domestic violence. The latter requires that there be some relationship, such as being married or domestic partners, dating or former dating partners, living or having lived together, or having a child together. When it comes to obtaining a civil harassment restraining order, no such relationship is required. The person whom you want to restrain may be a neighbor, a roommate (as long as you never dated), a friend, a family member more than two degrees removed (like an aunt or uncle or a cousin), or other people to whom you are not closely related.
There is no requirement that the restrained person engage in violent acts toward you. Instead, the perpetrator’s conduct must be upsetting enough that it would cause substantial distress to a reasonable person. As a result, a mere argument or verbal dispute with a stranger, roommate, or neighbor would not be sufficient to seek a civil harassment restraining order. However, conduct threatening violence would be adequate. The communication may be in the form of threatening phone calls, voicemails, text messages, e-mails, Facebook messages, tweets, or any other social media communications. The person seeking the protection must also show that the behavior caused them substantial emotional distress.
In order to defend against a request for a civil harassment restraining order, you must file a CH-120, which is a Response to Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Order. In order to obtain a civil harassment restraining order, the plaintiff needs to prove the conduct by clear and convincing evidence in court. A skilled lawyer can help you defend yourself if that threshold is not met.Contact a San Diego Lawyer to Discuss a Restraining Order
Whether you require a civil harassment restraining order or you feel that such an order has been unfairly issued against you, we can help. With nearly 30 years of experience, Attorney Roseline D. Feral is an experienced San Diego lawyer who understands how to navigate cases in the civil and criminal systems. We also can assist residents of Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista, as well as other cities. For an initial appointment, you can contact us online or call our office at 619-232-1010. You can also reach Attorney Feral directly at 619-301-1191. She can also help people who need a domestic violence attorney or representation in seeking or fighting back against any of the other restraining orders available in California.