Civil Harassment Restraining Order Quick links:
- What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?
- What is an Elder/Dependent Abuse Restraining Order?
- What is a Gun Violence Restraining Order?
- What is a Workplace Violence Restraining Order?
- Where do I file my forms?
- Restraining Order Clinics
- Is there a fee to file a restraining order?
- When will I get my temporary restraining order?
- How do I serve (officially notify) the respondent?
- Civil harassment mediation services are available at no cost to you!
- How do I respond to a temporary restraining order?
What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?
Under California law (Code of Civil Procedure §527.6), a person who has suffered harassment may seek a temporary restraining order and an injunction prohibiting harassment.
Civil Harassment Restraining Orders differ from Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in that the person doing the harassing has no close family or domestic relationship with the victim. For example, a Civil Harassment Restraining Order applies to a neighbor, roommate or stranger. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is filed in the Family Court and applies to a current or former: husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or other relative.
You may seek protection if you are worried about your safety because someone:
- is harassing you;
- is stalking you;
- has committed acts of violence against you; or
- has threatened you with violence
Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 527.6(b), the course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the victim.
The restraining order can include preventing personal conduct by the harasser, order the harasser to stay away from the victim, the victim's family, the victim's home/work and/or children's school, and other miscellaneous orders.
Learn more about what qualifies for civil harassment restraining orders and find forms to begin filing a request: CIVIL HARASSMENT PETITIONER PACKET
What is an Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
An elder/dependent adult abuse restraining order applies to a person seeking a protective order who falls within the definition of elder or dependent adult as follows:
Under California law (Welfare & Institutions Code §15657.03), a person who is 65 years of age or older (elder) OR a person who is between 18 and 64 years of age and who has mental or physical limitations that prevent them from carrying out their normal activities (dependent adult), who has been a victim of one or more of the following:
- Physical, financial, mental or emotional abuse;
- Neglect, abandonment, abduction, or isolation;
- Treatment that has caused physical harm or pain or mental suffering; or
- Deprived by a caregiver of goods or services needed to avoid harm or suffering.
If you can answer "yes" to one or more of the questions below, you may wish to seek an elder/dependent abuse restraining order.
- Are you 65 years of age or older and being abused?
- Are you between the ages of 18 and 64, and have a mental or physical condition that prevents your from carrying out your normal activities?
- Is someone physically abusing you or causing you emotional harm?
- Is someone who helps you with the daily necessities of life threatening to hurt you?
- Is someone who helps you with the daily necessities of life misusing your money?
- Is an elder you know being abused?
Learn more about what qualifies for elder and dependent abuse restraining orders and find forms to begin filing a request: ELDER AND DEPENDENT ABUSE PACKET
What is a Gun Violence Restraining Order?
Under California law (Penal Code §18150), an immediate family member, employer, coworker, employee or teacher of a secondary or postsecondary school, or law enforcement agency may seek an order prohibiting an individual who poses a significant danger of personal injury to himself, herself or another from controlling, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm, ammunition, or magazine.
Learn more about what qualifies for gun violence restraining orders and find forms to begin filing a request: GUN VIOLENCE PETITIONER PACKET
What is a Workplace Violence Restraining Order?
Under California law (Code of Civil Procedure §527.8), an employer whose employee has suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence from any individual may seek an order and injunction prohibiting harassment.
Learn more about what qualifies for workplace violence restraining orders and find forms to begin filing a request: WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PACKET
Civil Harassment Restraining Order Clinics
In South County, East County and at the Hall of Justice, restraining order clinics are operated by Legal Aid Society of San Diego and offers assistance to self-represented litigants to explain procedures and to help them prepare forms. Clients are seen in the order of arrival and no phone calls are allowed. Please refer to the LASSD clinic locations and schedules for more information.
In North County, a restraining order clinic is operated by San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program and offers assistance to self-represented litigants to explain procedures and to help them prepare forms. Please refer to the SDVLP clinic locations and schedules for more information.
Where do I file my forms?
Civil Harassment, Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse, Gun Violence, and Workplace Violence Temporary Restraining Orders may be filed at the following locations:
Please refer to the Where to File page to determine the proper court location for filing your documents.
|Hall of Justice
330 W. Broadway, Room 225
San Diego, CA 92101
|East County Regional Center
250 East Main Street
El Cajon, California 92020
|North County Regional Center
325 South Melrose
Vista, California 92081
Civil Business Office - 1st Floor
|South County Regional Center
500 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor
Chula Vista, California 91910
Note: Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders may be obtained at the Family Court Division closest to you.
East: 250 E. Main Street, El Cajon, CA 92020
South: 500 Third Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910
North: 325 S. Melrose Drive, Vista, CA 92081
Central: 1100 Union Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Is there a fee to file a restraining order?
There will be a filing fee unless otherwise ordered by the court.
Note: There is no filing fee for Gun Violence Restraining Orders.
What forms are needed to file a restraining order?
NOTICE: CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDERS
To have a Request for Temporary Restraining Order filed and heard by a judge on the same day, Petitioner must be in line with completed paperwork by 3:00 p.m., as per Code of Civil Procedure §527.6(e). (Completed is defined as meaning all names and information must be completed and match across all documents and be written in a clear legible manner so that the Judicial Officer may consider the request.)
Code of Civil Procedure §527.6(e) states: "A request for the issuance of a temporary restraining order without notice under this section shall be granted or denied on the same day that the petition is submitted to the court, unless the petition is filed too late in the day to permit effective review, in which case the order shall be granted or denied on the next day of judicial business in sufficient time for the order to be filed that day with the clerk of the court."
When will I get my temporary restraining order?
In most instances, if your request for a temporary restraining order is granted, you will receive your temporary restraining order the same day.
How do I serve (officially notify) the respondent?
It is the responsibility of the petitioner to have the respondent personally served with all necessary documents as instructed by the clerk. Proof of service for the respondent must be filed with the court prior to or at the time of the hearing on restraining order.
The party can be served by:
- The Sheriff's Department of the county where the respondent lives or works
- Anyone over the age of 18 years old and not a party named in the case
For more information, visit the Serving Documents page.
Mediation Services for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
The National Conflict Resolution Center may be able to provide mediation services without any cost to you or the other party.
For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for Civil Harassment Mediation.