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Complete Guide: Evidence for Civil Harassment Restraining Order

What Evidence Do You Need for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

If you plan on filing a restraining order against another person, it is critical that you understand what evidence you need and what evidence the judge is looking for in these cases. Specifically, in civil harassment restraining orders, you must prove that harassment has occurred and this harassment warrants a restraining order.

Defining Harassment in California

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6 states that harassment consists of three things.
Harassment can be any of the following:

  1. Unlawful violence
  2. A credible threat of violence
  3. Willful and intentional course of conduct that seriously annoys alarms, or harasses a person and serves no legitimate purpose

These are the three ways that harassment can exist. It can exist in one or all, and you can couple them together.

Evidence Used in Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

The statute states that if civil harassment is present, then courts are allowed to issue a restraining order if the person that’s bringing the harassment action can prove with clear and convincing evidence that that person is committing harassment.

The burden of proof in civil harassment restraining order cases is clear and convincing, please note that this is lower than the standard of proof than in criminal cases which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Basically, this just means you have a lesser standard of proof in restraining order cases than in criminal matters.

It’s on the petitioner, the person who files the petition or who files for a restraining order, to prove that harassment has occurred.

What Are The Effects Of a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

Civil harassment initially is not per se a criminal matter, but it does have criminal effects. So, if you are the person that is subjected to a civil harassment restraining order, you could be subjected to criminal consequences if you violate that order. Further, you can lose substantive rights in that you will no longer be allowed to possess a weapon if you are the subject of a civil harassment restraining order.

Therefore, there are criminal effects that go hand-in-hand with civil harassment restraining order so it’s important to protect yourself.

What Happens When A Civil Harassment Restraining Order Is Issued?

When a civil harassment restraining order is issued upon a person, it states that you are not allowed to harass the person who petitioned for the restraining order anymore. You are supposed to stay a certain amount of distance away from them and you are not allowed to contact them.

Contact a Civil Harassment Restraining Order Lawyer

If you are interested in filing a civil harassment restraining order or have been served with one in the Bay Area, The Nieves Law Firm can help. Our team has ample experience with restraining order cases from both sides, and we understand how these cases work. Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation and see how we can help you with your restraining order needs.

Author Bio

Jo-Anna Nieves is the Founder and Managing Attorney of the Nieves Law Firm, an Oakland criminal defense law firm she created in 2013. With more than 11 years of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, domestic violence, expungement, federal crimes, juvenile law, sex crimes, violent crimes, and other criminal charges.

Jo-Anna received her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Super Lawyer Rising Star in 2019, and the #12 Fastest Growing Law Firm in the U.S. by Law Firm 500 in 2019.

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