If you do not qualify for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (i.e. you do not have an intimate or familial relationship with the person from whom you want protection) you can still request a CHO. A CHO can offer protection from neighbors, roommates, and co-workers.
Under California Law a person who has been harassed may seek a CHO prohibiting further harassment. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §527.6(b), harassment is any course of conduct that is directed at a specific person, that seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. The conduct must be serious enough that it would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and it must also actually cause substantial emotional distress to the victim.
You may seek protection if you are being:
- Harassed, or
- Sexually assaulted
The CHO can prohibit the harasser’s personal conduct, as well as order the harasser to stay away from the victim, the victim’s family, the victim’s home or work, and/or the victim’s children’s school. A CHO can also prevent the person subject to the order from purchasing or owning firearms. (CCP §527.6(t)).
Obtaining the CHO
To obtain a CHO, you must fill out a “Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders” (Form CH-100) a “Confidential CLETS Information” (Form CLETS-001), a “Notice of Court Hearing” (Form CH-109), and a “Temporary Restraining Order” (Form CH-110). Submit the completed forms to the court clerk to give to the judge. The judge will then review the documents and decide whether or not to grant the TRO.
If your request for a CHO is granted, a hearing will be set for you and the respondent (the restrained person). This hearing will be either within 21 days, or if the court finds good cause, within 25 days after the temporary order was granted or denied. The restrained person must be served with all necessary documents as instructed by the clerk. The party can be served by:
- The Sheriff’s Department of the county where the restrained person (respondent) lives or works (See CCP §527.6(x)); or
- Anyone who is over the age of 18 years old, and not a party named in the case.
To show that the respondent was properly served, a “Proof of Service” form must be filed with the court at or before the time of the hearing. (Form CH-200).
At the hearing, the judge “shall receive any testimony that is relevant” and “may make an independent inquiry.” (CCP § 527.6(i)). This means that all relevant evidence will be admissible at the judge’s discretion, including hearsay statements. (See Duronslet v. Kamps (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 717, 728-29; Kaiser Foundation Hospitals v. Wilson (2011) 201 Cal.App.4th 550, 557-58.) The judge will issue an injunction prohibiting the harassment if he or she finds “by clear and convincing evidence that unlawful harassment exists.” (CCP § 527.6(i)).
If you need assistance with a Civil Harassment Order, Contact Lvovich & Szucsko, P.C at 415-392-2560