What is a Civil Harassment (CH) Restraining Order(TRO)?
A CH TRO is an ex parte order of the court, prohibiting a person from harassing, stalking, threatening or using violence upon you. (ex parte means without the other side, so that's why the initial order is only temporary, until the other side can be heard before making an order of longer duration).
What does a CH TRO actually do?
If granted, a CH TRO is an order that restricts the actions, location and behavior of a person. A TRO can order a person to:
*Not harass or threaten you;
*Keep a certain distance from you, your house, your vehicles and place of work; and
*Not own or possess a firearm
(A CH TRO cannot order someone to pay you money, move out of a home, or provide for custody or support of children, these are difference orders and usually require a civil or family law filing)
How Long will it take to get a TRO, and how long will it last?
The initial order is temporary, and restrains that person's activity for a brief time until a hearing takes place. A TRO can be issued quickly, and must be decided upon by a judge within 24 hrs. In Vista, and San Diego County Courts, the court will process the request the same day if the paperwork is properly completed and filed before 3 pm.
What is the Burden of Proof to Get a CH TRO Issued?
To get a CH TRO issued, you must prove by a preponderance (51%) of the evidence that a person harassed you by using violence, threats of violence, or a course of conduct that seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed you and caused substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct requires proof there was more than just one act.
How can I get a CH TRO to protect myself?
The easiest way to get a TRO issued properly is to hire an attorney like myself that can help complete the variety of forms necessary to petition the court for help. (You do not, however, need to have an attorney) The fees for a CH TRO are expensive (over $450), but if there is an allegation of violence, threat of violence, or stalking, there is no fee to file or have the Sheriff serve the order on the other party.
What if I have been served with a CH TRO?
If you have been served with a TRO, you should contact an attorney immediately. Because these matters are time-sensitive, it is important to immediately prepare a response, and gather witnesses and evidence if you choose to fight the TRO. If there is, or may be a criminal case prosecuted from the same set of facts, its very important to consult with a criminal defense attorney to make sure your statements in the TRO case do not implicate your rights in a potential criminal proceeding. If you don't file a response, or attend the hearing, the Petitioner (party asking for the order) still must establish they have been harassed, and if they do, the court may issue a more permanent (up to 5 years) order. Please note that if you have been served with a restraining order, you will not be able to own or possess a firearm, and must surrender any to law enforcement or a gun dealer. If the order is dissolved at the hearing, your right to bear arms is not affected. Can I get a mutual restraining order against the other party?
If you want the court to order the other party to stay away from you, you must file your own petition for a TRO, and have it served on the other party. Even if you have compelling evidence the other side is the one causing the problem, the court has no jurisdiction to restrain that party without a properly filed request for a TRO.
Whether you want to get a TRO against someone, or have recently been served with a TRO, you have rights and deserve an aggressive attorney to represent you. Call today for a free consultation and let me show you how I can help. 760 643 4025.
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