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  1. #1
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    Apr 2005
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    Default What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighbor

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: rural California
    What proof is required to get a Temporary Restraining Order/Protection on a neighbor?

    I have a neighbor who has been cited by code enforcement for multiple violations ranging from extensive construction, timber harvesting and excavation without a permit. The identity of the informant is confidential. She has since put black plastic on her fence with no trespassing signs and is attempting to get a "Temporary Restraining Order/Protective" on myself and the only other neighbor bordering her property on the basis that her privacy has been violated and she feels threatened. She suspects we reported her.
    My neighbor received a summons but I have not yet do to clerical errors.
    I personally have never threatened her, no police involvement. The last time I spoke to her was over the phone months before she was reported and that was about kids toys. I have never talked to her or anyone at her home about this. I do walk along our property boundary from time to time but I don't think that you can get a restraining order just because you don't want a neighbor to walk along the property or look at your house. It concerns me that a judge may easily give out a TRO based on someone's "feeling" that their privacy has been violated.

    I think she has a plan.
    Put out the notion that she is being harassed and feels threatened.
    Put up no trespassing signs and black plastic on a fence to block view which would bolsters her assertion of feeling violated.
    Get a protective restraining order on the parties she thinks reported her.

    If successful, she will have effectively restrained the only bordering property owners from reporting or documenting her unpermitted activities under violation of restraining order.

    Perfect.

    I might add that she has moved 10 to 15 people on to her property while I am a woman living alone and the other neighbor is a retired woman living with her husband.
    How likely is it that two older women would pose such a percieved threat to a large group of people at the same time that it would require a TRO/Protective on both on them?

    So do they have to present hard evidence or just conjecture?

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    Quote Quoting artms
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    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: rural California
    What proof is required to get a Temporary Restraining Order/Protection on a neighbor?
    A sufficient amount of proof to convince a court that the actions of the party to be restrained put the party to be protected at risk of damage to their property or person.

    My neighbor received a summons but I have not yet do to clerical errors.
    Why are you receiving a summons? Have you been accused of a crime?

    Do you mean that you are awaiting a subpoena? To go to court regarding the Civil Harassment Order/TRO?

    I do walk along our property boundary from time to time but I don't think that you can get a restraining order just because you don't want a neighbor to walk along the property or look at your house. It concerns me that a judge may easily give out a TRO based on someone's "feeling" that their privacy has been violated.
    The initial temporary order is easier to obtain than the more permanent order after hearing. If what you say is true, I cannot imagine the judge would grant such an order. The plaintiff will have to present some sort of proof that your actions put the proeprty or persons on the property at risk.

    So do they have to present hard evidence or just conjecture?
    It does not have to be "hard" evidence, but the plaintiff has to prove the case all the same.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
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    Sacramento,ca
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    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    I have not had any threatening interactions and no police have ever been called on me. I am in fact very reclusive.
    The TRO/Protective hearing is tomorrow followed by a OSC hearing a few hours later. My neighbor will be there because she was served. I am also listed on the docket but I have not been served because the name they entered is not my name. They used half of my nickname and my husbands last name incorrectly spelled. I suspect if they do obtain my legal name I will be served.
    Pictures were submitted to code enforcement for documentation but according to the code enforcement officer they have not seen them and my identity is confidential. As I understand it, any pictures submitted to code enforcement are protected from litigation.
    My neighbor took a picture of small children riding dirt bikes on a track they created, part of their grading and excavation without a permit and environmental nuisance due to noise, fumes and dust. The small children were not wearing any head protection. I'm not certain that my neighbors identity was to be kept confidential since she had previously filed a complaint for the grading.
    The person who received a formal Notice of Violations from the code enforcement department suspects pictures were taken documenting their activities but she has no proof of the pictures or who took them.
    She may think taking pictures is a violation of her privacy but for myself, that is all confidential.

    i suppose she could make up a story of me threatening her and have her friends support her as witnesses but that would then be my word against hers.

    I have another concern. If it comes to it, I don't know how to defend myself based on my identity as an informant being confidential. Code enforcement does not involve themselves with civil litigation.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    Quote Quoting artms
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    Pictures were submitted to code enforcement for documentation but according to the code enforcement officer they have not seen them and my identity is confidential. As I understand it, any pictures submitted to code enforcement are protected from litigation.
    Not if they wish to use the pictures against the defendant. If the defendant wants to go to trial for the violations, they might challenge the images and for them to be used, someone may need to testify as to the location. date and time they were taken.

    The person who received a formal Notice of Violations from the code enforcement department suspects pictures were taken documenting their activities but she has no proof of the pictures or who took them.
    She may think taking pictures is a violation of her privacy but for myself, that is all confidential.
    If the pictures were taken from a place where the picture taker had a right to be, then there is no issue. Heck, in most instances if a private person takes a photo even from the other person's private property it might still be used against them.

    I have another concern. If it comes to it, I don't know how to defend myself based on my identity as an informant being confidential. Code enforcement does not involve themselves with civil litigation.
    You have no right to remain confidential. In fact, if things go to a criminal trial they will more than likely have to give up the names of any complaining parties they have a record of - especially if they intend to use that information against the defendant. In a civil trial they can also be forced to give the information up. But, it doesn't sound like you did anything that could be criminal or that they could collect money from in a civil trial.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,ca
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    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    Thank you.
    The plaintiffs were only told "someone" complained.
    I have nothing to hide and I think it required courage on my part to report them given my isolation but I did it because I would not be revealed.
    Ironically, I'm a bit more concerned about myself since I'm a woman living alone in a rather remote area and there are several men that live on her property. This began when she moved in two 30 foot trailers on to her property and then began adding another illegal addition to her home to house more people. The last time she had trailers occupied they defecated on my property so I do inspect my property on a regular basis.
    Code enforcement welcomed the pictures I took and they then took many more themselves when they inspected the property. The trailers were ordered into dead storage but there is still no control over how many people live in the house.

    As I understand it, an initial hearing is more informal.

    If they do not have proof of pictures taken at that time should I incriminate myself or wait till they choose to take the issue further and subpoena the information?
    Is there a way to convey my confidentiality to a judge without them being a party to it? They may think they have a case because pictures invaded their privacy or because I inspect my property line. I don't care about the pictures but i would not like to confirm myself as a source unless I have to. I don't mind a judge knowing, in fact it would explain a lot, but I feel vulnerable if they were certain it was me. This is between them and code enforcement now and I just want to be left alone.


    Thank you for your time.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2005
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    Sacramento,ca
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    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    I have an update. My neighbor was served. She responded with all the necessary paperwork while asking for a continuance on the hearing date. The TRO case was dismissed. Now he is blocking the deeded easement through the property and forcing them to remove their water line that has been there over 50 years. He's not asked others to remove theirs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    I think it is time for people to hire attorneys.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,ca
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: What Proof Do You Need to Get a Restraining Order or Protective Order on a Neighb

    I think you're right.

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