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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

Jimarielle ‘Mari’ Bowie is a lawyer at The Nieves Law Firm, having joined the firm in March of 2022. Jimarielle is bilingual and represents both Spanish and English-speaking clients. Her care of the injustices in our current system go beyond her job, as she frequently works as an activist, protester, and organizer for causes related to systemic injustices. At The Nieves Law Firm, Jimarielle represents clients facing criminal issues related to assault and battery, DUIs, domestic violence, sex crimes, and theft, along with legal issues related to Motions to Vacate and restraining orders.

Jimarielle received her law degree from Charleston School of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude. The feat is more impressive when you take into account the fact that she graduated law school and passed the California Bar all while pregnant with her second child. Jimarielle’s legal experience includes working for non-profits in the legal sector and defending clients accused of crimes while at the Solano County Public Defender’s Office.

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