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  1. #1

    Default What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    My question involves restraining orders in the State of: CA

    My roommate is getting very aggressive with me. Since he is not family or anyone I dated (we are both male), I was told we need to file a Request for Civil Harassment Restraining order and a TRO. Will I be granted a TRO based on these facts:

    He started yelling at me and followed me to the kitchen where he has threatened that he will get my life ended by September and would not let me get out of the kitchen by blocking my path. He as been trying to provoke physical fights asking me to pick up knives or other objects so that a fight would proceed. He would say "Pickup that knife. God I wish you pickup that knife so that I can beat you up and end your life". He has continuously harassed me by saying bad things about my race and country of origin.

    Is there anything I can do?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    Sure, you can file. Good luck proving it. You might want to carry a voice recorder around with you in order to obtain evidence. Otherwise, you really have no evidence. And, well, if you two are roommates, you might have to look for a new roommate. I would also strongly suggest calling the police if he follows you and becomes confrontational with you again. The individual had attemptd to provoke you into committing an illegal act. You have been wise and mature in not allowing yourself to retaliate with an illegal act: I suggest you keep it that way.

    Also, you should pass this by the landlord. The landlord may have a few things to say about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,031

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    You do realize that a restraining order will get him out of the apartment so you'll have to pay the whole rent by yourself.

    If you are capable of paying the whole rent yourself why not just pack up and find yourself your own place?

    Meantime, here's the CA Court Self Help page regarding Civil Harassment. You'll find everything you need to know plus the forms.

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/1044.htm

  4. #4

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    First off, if he leaves, we all will still be responsible for the rent not just me. I can definitely find someone in a few days to move in when he leaves.

    Does my complaint fulfill the definition of "harassment"?

    Does my complaint fulfill the requirements to get a Civil Harassment Restraining Order in other words is it enough for me to get a restraining order?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    No one can predict what a judge might say about your complaint.

    You can pay the fee (which in some places might be as much as $400), file the affidavit and request the CHO, and see what the judge says. If he issues the temporary stay away and kickout order, there will be a hearing a few weeks down the road where you and the restrained party will have a chance to speak before the court and say your piece.

    If you feel you can handle the rent and expenses and believe that you have a case (and that it is not that you are contributing to the confrontations), then go for it.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  6. #6

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    I still suggest talking to the landlord about your roommate. If you don't want to pay the $400, and the roommate bothers you again in a threatening or harassing way, threaten that you will call the police. Another thing to do is if the event happens again, call the landlord and then call the police. If the roommate blocked you into the kitchen, whereby there was no exit, I would say you had a reasonable belief that your safety was in danger.

    That guy will spend a night in jail if he keeps up what he is doing.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    Thank you for your answers but I still did not get a straight forward answer. Based on the events that I described, is it considered "harassment" as defined by law?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    Quote Quoting davidmyers1980
    View Post
    Thank you for your answers but I still did not get a straight forward answer. Based on the events that I described, is it considered "harassment" as defined by law?
    That's up to a judge. What might specifically constitute harassment such that a judge WILL grant a CHO can be largely subjective and is up to the opinion of the judge.

    This is from the state courts website and the link that adjusterjack provided:

    What Is Civil Harassment?

    In general, civil harassment is abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment by someone you have not dated and do NOT have a close relationship with, like a neighbor, a roommate, or a friend (that you have never dated). It is also civil harassment if the abuse is from a family member that is not included in the list under domestic violence. So, for example, if the abuse is from an uncle or aunt, a niece or nephew, or a cousin, it is considered civil harassment and NOT domestic violence.

    The civil harassment laws say “harassment” is:

    Unlawful violence, like assault or battery or stalking, OR
    A credible (real) threat of violence, AND
    The violence or threats seriously scare, annoy, or harass someone and there is no valid reason for it.

    “Credible threat of violence” means intentionally saying something or acting in a way that would make a reasonable person afraid for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family. A “credible threat of violence” includes following or stalking someone, making harassing calls, or sending harassing messages, by phone, mail, or e-mail, over a period of time (even if it is a short time).

    And CCP 527.6(b)(3) defines "harassment" thus:

    "Harassment" is unlawful violence, a credible threat of
    violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a
    specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the
    person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. 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 petitioner.

    From the description you have provided it would seem that a judge might have sufficient cause to issue the initial, temporary order. However, when the two of you face the judge a few weeks afterwards, he may be able to convince the court that he is not a threat to you.

    None of us can predict what an unknown judge might say concerning an unknown affidavit or testimony.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    if the threats were credible, why dont YOU move out before he kills you...

  10. #10

    Default Re: What Does It Take to Get a Restraining Order

    Thank you for your response. I hope I am not annoying, but I would like to get the real meaning.

    Lets look at
    1) "A credible (real) threat of violence".
    a) What is the difference between a threat and a credible (real) threat?
    b) Does the word credible give the added meaning that it is required there should be evidence in terms of other eye witnesses, audio/video recordings?


    2) "The violence or threats seriously scare, annoy, or harass someone and there is no valid reason for it."
    a) This is very interesting. What constitutes a valid reason for making threats, annoying or harassing someone? Please provide examples.

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