Recently updated on May 6th, 2024 at 10:41 pm

File a Restraining Order Online: Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO)

Create Forms and File for Civil Harassment Restraining Order Online

This website is helps you create official California forms and file for a restraining order online.

This page is for Civil Harassment Restraining Order which is a type of restraining order when the abuser could be a neighbor, a co-worker, a roommate, a distant relative or a total stranger.

For a current or former husband, wife, legal domestic partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or dating partner; or a close relative; please see Domestic Violence Restraining Order

The website leads you through friendly online questionnaires, with helpful tips directly from courts. Once you complete the questionnaires, you can download the latest official version (last updated May 2024) of court documents (PDF) or electronically file (E-file) these with your local Superior Court of California. 

You can also just explore your options as your privacy is kept and your case is visible to you only until you file restraining order with the court. 

Eligibility

  • Begin by checking your eligibility

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Process Overview

This website presents a list of questions, and then at the end generates the paperwork for the Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO)

HOW THIS WEBSITE WORKS

This website provides a guided experience to people who are working themselves on preparing the court forms for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.

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1. Take Screening

Select the specific protection order you want to file for. Then answer a few questions to determine your eligibility.

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2. Prepare Documents for Restraining Order

Prepare the main set of your court documents by covering one topic at a time presented in simple language, and from any device. Then digitally sign without the need to print or re-scan the documents.

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3. Consult Advocate (Optional)

Depending on your situation, we can suggest any trusted free victim advocacy non profits. The advocate can assist you with certain aspects of the case and safety planning. They can review your case documents, and talk to you directly to discuss your case.

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4 File for Restraining Order Online

This website simplifies the filing to a couple of clicks, and get follow up messages notifications from the court. You also have the option to download and print the PDF files and file in person. 

WHO CAN START A CASE

This website provides a guided experience to people who are working themselves on preparing the court forms for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.

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1. Victim 15+ years

Anyone 15 years or older, and without a parent's permission can create the paperwork and file to start a case.  

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2. On behalf of a minor (under 18)

Someone 15 or older can petition on behalf of a minor who is a family or household member. 

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3. On behalf of a senior or disabled person

An adult can file on behalf of a vulnerable adult

WHAT RESTRICTIONS CAN YOU ASK THE JUDGE FOR

Here are the typical restrictions places on the abuser via the restraining order. 

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Stay Away From You

Abuser would have to stay at least 100 yards away from you, your children and locations you request such as your work

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Hand over a car

Get access to cars held by the abuser

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Don't post intimate images

Take down, delete, and do not distribute intimate images of a protected person, as defined in RCW 9A.86.010

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Not to contact you

Not to contact you via phone or text or mutual friends

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Vacate the shared residence

The respondent can be asked to vacate the shared residence. You can also request help from police to kick them out. 

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Restrict Abusive Litigation

This is to prevent the misuse of the legal system to harass, intimidate, or burden you.

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Not stalk you

Not stalk you or your loved ones, including your accounts on facebook or other social media

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Handover Passport, Cell phone, Medications etc.

You an ask for your personal items such as passport, medications, clothes. This would be applicable if you were living together up to now.

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Get Drugs, Mental health and Sex Offender Treatment

You can request the abuser to seek treatment for alcoholism, or drug use

FILED AT California COURTHOUSE

Your case documents are filed at a Superior Court in your county. Here are examples of some. 

FAQs

How to restraining orders work?

After a court issues you a restraining order, and the abuser is informed about it, then if the abuser violates it you can call 9-1-1. 

California Penal Code 273.6 PC makes it a crime for a person to violate the terms or conditions of a court-issued restraining order, protective order, or stay-away order. This offense is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail.

But a second-offense violation of a restraining order, or a violation that involves an act of violence, can be charged as a felony and punished by up to 3 years in jail or prison.

How long does it take to get a restraining order?

You can get a temporary restraining order the same day as you file in case of an emergency as long as you apply on a business day and typically by noon.  Regular (non emergency) orders may be issued in a few days. While some cases may be decided only at a hearing in a few weeks. 

How much does a Civil Harassment Restraining Order cost?

The filing fee is $435.

The filing fee is waived if:

  1. If there is violence, stalking, fear of violence
  2. You're below a certain income level. This can be proven by:
    1. Your proof of income
    2. You're receiving State provided benefits programs

List of Benefits program: Medi-Cal, Food Stamps-California Food Assistance Program, , CalFresh Program, or SNAP, SSP-State Supplemental Payment, Supp. Sec. Inc.-Supplemental Security Income (not Social Security), County Relief/Gen. Assist. -County Relief, General Relief (GR), or General Assistance (GA), Judicial Council of California, IHSS, • CalWORKs-California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Act, Tribal T ANF-Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, CAPI-Cash Assistance Program for Aged, Blind, or Disabled Legal Immigrants
Government Code, §§ 68630-68640 Cal. (Rules of Court, rules 3.51, 7.5)

 

How long do restraining orders last in California state?

All restraining orders including a Civil Harassment Restraining Order is typically issued for five years.

Can a restraining order get the abuser fired from their job?

Yes it is possible but it depends on the order type and job. 

What's the immediate benefit to the victim?

As a legal warning, restraining orders forces the abuser to stay away from the victim and comply with other conditions or else they will be charged with a crime and face prison time. Furthermore by taking guns away from the abuser it can reduce the risk of fatality for the victim. 

Do I need a lawyer to get a restraining order?

No, a lawyer is not required. However, having a lawyer in any legal situation can benefit you.

How many people file for restraining orders in California ?

In California, about 400 Civil Harassment Restraining Order cases were filed daily from July 2019 to June 2020 (144,000 over 12 months).

When should I get a restraining order vs. file a criminal charge?

If criminal charges are filed, then a restraining order is typically also filed as it provides protection for a set time frame just in case the criminal charges are dropped.   Restraining orders are also important when no crime as been committed e.g. coercive control and therefore they are the only option in many situations. 

How can a CHRO affect my relationship?

A restraining order can have several effects particularly if you run into the same person but overall it can be a positive thing that avoids bigger problems. 

Do Restraining Orders Help?

Here the outcome of a research on restraining orders from University of New Hampshire

Reduce Violence

1. Reduce Violence

Restraining Orders are effective in reducing violence and harassment. For half the subjects in the sample studied, a restraining order stopped the violence. For the other half, the orders significantly reduced violence and abuse. 

Cost Effective

2. Cost Effective

Restraining orders are relatively low cost for victims and for the government, particularly when compared with the social and personal costs of violence.

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3. Cities vs. Countryside

The impact of civil protective orders on reducing violence and abuse did not differ for rural (country side) and urban (cities) women. In rural areas, where resources and services for abuse or violence may be more limited, it is critical to reduce barriers to obtaining protective orders as research indicates they may be an effective resource. Community-level barriers to enforce civil protective orders exist for women in rural areas.

RISKS

The abuser may react to your filing for a restraining order

Anger

The abuser particularly in proximity situations (e.g. co-worker, neighbor) may react with anger due to the perceived loss of control over you and your household. 

Damaging jointly owned property

The respondent make cause damage to shared fence e.g. neighbors, or any other shared item to cause harm to you.

Murder or Physical Harm

A particular risk is if the respondent has access to guns or other firearms they might actually kill you. Here's an example from 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana   

Weaponize Immigration Status or Health Insurance

The abuser may report you or your loved ones undocumented US immigration status to the U.S authorities, or cancel health insurance.

Reporting you unnecessarily

Fearing restrictions the abuser may cause harm e.g. with neighbors report you to HOA or in case of workplaces, report you to HR. 

Spreading false information about you

The abuser may spread false information particularly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media. 

Court Forms (Templates) Created

When you pass the screening and complete the questionnaires, you can then download the following standard court forms filled correctly with your information. These court forms are provided by the the Judicial Council of California.

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Core Forms

  • Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Order - CH-100
  • Temporary Restraining Order - CH-110
  • Description of Abuse - DV-101
  • Notice of Court Hearing - CH-109
  • Confidential CLETS Information - CLETS-001
  • Request to Continue Court Hearing (Temporary Restraining Order) - CH-115
  • Order on Request to Continue Hearing (Temporary Restraining Order) (CLETS-TCH) - CH-116

Depending on Situation

  • Receipt for Firearms and Firearm Parts - CH-800
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order After Hearing - CH-130
  • Response to Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders - CH-120

TYPES OF RESTRAINING ORDERS in California

In California there are six types of civil protection orders, with Civil Harassment Restraining Order being one of them. 

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Domestic violence is abuse from a romantic partner, or a family or a household member. The abuse can involve physical or sexual violence, or a pattern of harassment or controlling behavior or merely threats to harm.

Gun Violence Restraining Order

This is aimed at banning firearms for someone who poses significant danger to self or others. This protection order must be requested by a family or household member or a law enforcement agency.

Civil Harassment Restraining Order

For harassment, stalking, abuse, or threats by neighbor, co-worker, roommate, distant relative or a total stranger and not a current or former romantic partner or a close family or household member.

Private Postsecondary School Violence Prevention Restraining Order

Only a private school administration can request this type of restraining order to protect a student (and their family) from threats of violence on campus.

Workplace Violence Restraining Order

Only an employer can ask for a workplace violence restraining order to protect an employee who has suffered stalking, serious harassment, violence, or a credible (real) threat of violence at the workplace. An employee cannot ask for this restraining order.

Elder/Disabled Abuse Restraining Order

For protecting senior citizens (over 65) or other disabled persons who are being abused, neglected or exploited including financially by an abusive caregiver, family member, acquaintance or stranger.