Skip to content

How to report stalking and get a restraining order

About The Author

Recently updated on May 8th, 2024 at 12:25 am

Stalking is generally defined as being followed without permission, and now there is online stalking of surveilling activities online. In California stalking is a crime i.e. you can report it to the police and they will take legal action against the person stalking you. However proving that someone is stalking you can be difficult and something that might be simpler is to get a restraining order against that person which requires less evidence.

Definition

The legal definition of Stalking is in California Penal Code section 646.9:

“Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking.” 

Evidence for Crime

In order to file a case for CPC 646.9 Stalking, the state needs evidence that proves that the legal definition of stalking was met, and for that they need to prove these sub-points:

  • The stalker intentionally followed or harassed someone
  • The stalker did that multiple times
  • The stalker threatened you which caused you to be fearful of your own or your loved ones safety

Restraining Order option

You can get a restraining order against a person you suspect is stalking you. You can do it by it self or in addition to the criminal case.

There are two types of restraining orders and the appropriate one depends on your relationship with the stalker.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)

DVRO is the appropriate type of restraining order if the stalker is someone who you:

  • dated or
  • had an intimate relationship with, including a spouse or domestic partner or someone with whom you've a child or
  • is a relative such a parent sibling or grandparent

Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO)

If the stalker is not related to you in the ways that make DVRO the appropriate choice, then for all other relationships e.g. total stranger, a neighbor, a co-worker etc. -- the appropriate choice is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order.

 

Evidence Needed for Restraining Orders

So if you suspect you're being stalked you can start organizing the evidence which you can submit with the initial petition and then again at a court hearing.

Evidence Type 1: Pending Criminal Case

Judges are also more likely to issue an order if there is an ongoing criminal case, therefore it’s important to call such cases out when seeking a temporary restraining order.

When a judge sees that there’s a criminal case happening, they might think it means the police or the district attorney are pretty sure they can prove the crime happened.

Examples of evidence are:

Evidence Type 2: Photos of violence, injuries, damage

These are the most common types of evidence submitted. These can be photos of victim’s injuries inflicted by the abuser. It is helpful to add photos next to the related incident description to help create a complete picture for the judge.

Evidence Type 3: Print outs of messages, emails or transcripts of voicemail

You can take screenshots of text messages and attach them. Similarly you can print emails and attach them as pictures or PDF files. While in most cases you cannot submit digital files such as

Evidence Type 4: 911 Calls

Rather than just saying you called 911 or any specific hotline, you can make your case stronger by listing the following items

  • The number dialed in case of the domestic hotline
  • The date and time (or approximate date and time) when the call was made
  • Who made the call
  • What was reported on the call
  • Any specific details of the person who answer the 911 call e.g. male/female voice

Evidence Type 5:  Medical Records

.You can attach documentation of previous medical emergencies or injuries that resulted from the actions of the abuser. These could be hospital visit records, print outs from your hospital portal (E.g. mychart) showing details of your visit.

Evidence Type 6:  Police reports

You can attach a copy of the police reports filed against abuser for domestic violence.

Evidence Type 7:  Testimony

  • A testimony from a witness. The witness can be anyone such as a family member, neighbor a co-worker or a bystander. The testimony is just an essay written describing the incidents witnessed, with as many specifics as possible.

 

Posted in

Related Posts

DV-100-1

How the Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Court Forms are Grouped By Topic

How the Minor Guardianship Court Forms are Grouped By Topic

law-book

Can I Sue my Neighbor for Emotional Distress

Scroll To Top