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Civil Harassment

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The purpose of this section is to give you a broad outline of the legal actions available to you if you or your children are in danger or victims of domestic violence.  While we will provide all necessary assistance in completing any forms related to domestic violence, abuse, or harassment, we cannot provide counseling or psychological support.  We suggest you contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (https://www.thehotline.org/) for information on resources and shelters available in your area.

Civil Harassment

When you are the victim or harassment or violence by an individual with whom you do not have serious relationship, then you may be able to file a Civil Harassment Restraining Order. The court will grant protective orders in a case of civil harassment if the victim has been abused, stalked, sexually assaulted, or otherwise seriously harassed by a neighbor, roommate, friend, or other individual without significant connection to the victim.  The courts define civil harassment as unlawful violence, assault or stalking, a credible threat of violence, or threats that may invoke serious fear, annoyance or harassment.

If you do not qualify for a Civil Harassment restraining order, you may still qualify for an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order, a domestic violence restraining order, a civil harassment restraining order, or a workplace violence restraining order.

Once you have a restraining order in place, the restrained person will be barred from contacting you, your children, or other members of your household.  The restrained person will not be allowed to appear at your home, work, or locations you commonly frequent (like your children’s school, or your gym).  If the restrained person is residing in your home, they will be required to move out.  The restrained person will also be required to hand over any firearms in their possession to the court for the duration of the order.  In some states, court issued restraining orders are entered into a statewide computer system that allows law enforcement to track and enforce active restraining orders.

If you receive a restraining order, some of your activities will be limited by court order.  You may have to move out of your home, and you will be required to avoid any locations listed as “off limits” in the order.  You will have to turn over any firearms in your possession, and you will be barred from buying any firearms while the restraining order is in effect. If you are a resident immigrant, your immigration status may also be affected, and you will need to consult an immigration lawyer. If you violate any portion of the restraining order, you could face sanctions, fines, and jail time.

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