Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Civil Harassment

What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders differ from Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in that the order is not for people who have dated or who are closely related. You may seek protection if you are worried about your safety because you are being:

  • stalked
  • harassed
  • sexually assaulted
  • threatened

by someone you do not have a close relationship with, like a neighbor or roommate. For a comparison of the most common forms of civil restraining orders, view the Guide to Civil Restraining Orders.

Civil Harassment Forms

The following form packets are needed to apply for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order:

You will need Adobe Reader X (10) or later. Download the Adobe Reader - external link.

Filing Fee

You will be required to pay a filing fee when you file your forms with the court. If the Request contains a credible threat of violence, the judge may decide to waive the fee. If this occurs, the filing fee will be refunded to you.

Where do I file my forms?

Present completed civil harassment forms to the Family Law Filing Department at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse.

When will I get my order?

If your forms are filed before 2:00 p.m. you will receive your order at 3:45 p.m. the same day. If the forms are filed after 2:00 p.m., then they will be ready for pickup after 3:45 p.m. the next business day. You must go to Window 3 in Room 102 at 3:45 p.m. to receive the judge's decision on your application for a restraining order. In most cases, a hearing will be set for you and the other party. It is the responsibility of the petitioner to have the respondent personally served. Proof of service for the respondent must be filed with the court prior to or at the time of the Civil Harassment Restraining Order hearing.

How to get the other party served.

If the party being served lives or works in Sacramento County, the Sheriff can serve the document. There is a Sheriff's Civil Division Office in Room 313 of the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse that is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., (drop box available until 5:00 p.m.) Monday through Friday. They can assist you in getting the other person served. If the person to be served lives and works outside of Sacramento County, contact the sheriff of that county for help.

If you prefer serving the restrained person on your own, ask someone you know to serve (give) a copy of the order to the restrained person. The server must be over 18 and not be one of the parties protected by this order. Once service is complete, the person who served the papers must complete a Proof of Personal Service (CH-200) and return it to you for filing with the court.

What if I can't get the restraining order served in time for the hearing or I need a continuance?

You can ask the court to "continue" the hearing to another date. There are two ways you can continue your court date on your Civil Harassment case. If you have been unable to serve the defendant, you will need to obtain a Request to Continue Court Hearing and to Reissue Temporary Restraining Order (CH-115) and a Notice of Hearing Date and Order on Reissuance (CH-116). The Reissue Temporary Order form must be completed and filed along with a copy of your prior Petition for Injunction Prohibiting Harassment and Application for Civil Harassment Restraining Order, prior to 2:00 p.m. on the day before your scheduled hearing.

You may also orally request a continuance in court during your hearing. If your request for continuance is granted, the Judge will sign an Order for Reissuance and set a new hearing date. Both methods extend your Temporary Restraining Order so you will be protected until the new hearing date.