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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Civil: Civil Harassment
Civil Harassment Restraining Order

  IMPORTANT: If you are in danger now and need help, call 911.

What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

Under California law (CCP §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 would apply to a neighbor, roommate or stranger. A Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Order would apply to an estranged husband or wife, or ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend or other relative.

You may seek protection if you are worried about your safety because you are being:

  1. stalked
  2. threatened,
  3. harassed, or
  4. sexually assaulted. 

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.  Back to Top

Is there a fee to file a restraining order?

There will be a filing fee unless otherwise ordered by the court. Refer to Ref #1 in the fee schedule.

What are the forms needed?Back to Top

For a list of required forms, visit the California Courts Self-Help Center.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order Clinics

Operated by Legal Aid Society of San Diego, this clinic 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. Click here for locations and schedule. 

Operated by San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, this clinic offers assistance to self-represented litigants to explain procedures and to help them prepare forms. The clinic is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It is located at the North County Courthouse, 325 South Melrose Drive, Vista, CA.

Where do I file my forms?

Civil Harassment or Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse Temporary Restraining Orders may be obtained at the following locations:

To find the proper court location, click here.                                                                                             

Court Location Telephone Number
Hall of Justice
330 W. Broadway, Room 225
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 450-7275
East County Regional Center
250 East Main Street
El Cajon, California 92020
(619) 456-4100
North County Regional Center
325 South Melrose
Vista, California 92081
Civil Business Office - 1st Floor
(760) 201-8600
South County Regional Center
500 3rd Avenue, 3rd Floor
Chula Vista, California 91910
(619) 746-6200
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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 CCP §527.6(e).

CCP §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."

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: 1555 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Madge Bradley: 1409 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

When will I get my temporary restraining order?

If your request for a temporary restraining order is granted, a hearing will be set for you and the respondent.  The respondent has to be served. 

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. 

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 our Serving Documents page.

Violence in the workplace

Visit the California Courts Self-Help Center for instructions and forms for use in workplace violence cases.

Mediation services for Civil Harassment

For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for Civil Harassment Mediation.

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Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse

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:

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.

Can You Answer Yes?

  1. Are you 65 years of age or older and being abused?
  2. 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?
  3. Is someone physically abusing you or causing you emotional harm?
  4. Is someone who helps you with the daily necessities of life threatening to hurt you?
  5. Is someone who helps you with the daily necessities of life misusing your money?
  6. Is an elder you know being abused?

For assistance on filing an Elder Abuse Restraining Order go to Civil Harassment Restraining Order Clinics

For a list of forms and additional information on Elder Abuse visit the California Courts Self Help Center website.

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