Jun. 30, 2016

Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

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What is a Civil Harassment Restraining Order?

It is a court order that helps protect people from harassment. Civil Harassment Restraining Orders are different from Family Law Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in that the person harassing is not for people who have dated or who are closely related. A person may seek protection if you are worried about your safety because you are being:

  • stalked
  • harassed
  • sexually assaulted
  • threatened

by someone with whom you do not have an intimate or familial relationship with, such as a neighbor or roommate.

If you want protection from someone:

  • you are dating (or used to date),
  • you are married to (or were married to),
  • you are closely related to (like a parent, child, brother or sister, grandparent, or grandchild),
  • you have a child with or have dated or had a romantic relationship with: the person you want protection from, or if you are closely related to that person,

you will need to file a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, in the Family Law Department. For help, you must go to:

Civic Center Courthouse
400 McAllister St., Room 509
San Francisco, CA 94102

If you are 65 or older, and are being abused physically, emotionally and/or financially by someone, call Legal Assistance to the Elderly at (415) 538-333 for help with an Elder Abuse Restraining Order.

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What forms do I need?

To apply for a Civil Harassment Restraining Order you will need the following forms to get started:

These forms are also available free of charge at the Civic Center Courthouse, Room 103 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, excluding Court holidays.

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After I have completed the forms, what do I do?

Make two copies of the completed Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders (CH-100). Staple the originals (and copies) of each using the page number guide at the bottom of each form. Then take the completed Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders(CH-100) and two copies, the Confidential CLETS Information (CLETS-001), the Notice of the Court Hearing (CH-109), and the Temporary Restraining Order (CH-110) to the courthouse for filing.

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Where do I file my forms?

Present completed forms and copies to the Civil Harassment Window #1 (unless otherwise specified) in Room 103 of the Civic Center Courthouse

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Is there a filing fee?

If you (Protected Person) allege no violence in the petition, there will be a filing fee (please see the statewide fee schedule for current fees) or you may qualify for a fee waiver.

If petitioner alleges violence in the petition, there will be no filing fee, however if your request is denied by the Judge, you will be expected to pay the filing fee upon pick up of your order.

Judicial Council Forms to apply for a fee waiver:

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When will I get my order?

If you file your petition before 10 a.m., you may pick-up your restraining order the same day between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Window #1.

If you file your petition after 10 a.m., you may pick-up your restraining order on the next court day between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Window #1.

If you do not pick-up your restraining order the same day or next court day, please pick up your order promptly to allow enough time to have the defendant(s) served with the Temporary Restraining Order and Notice of Court Hearing. Pick up your restraining order between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Window #1 (unless otherwise specified), Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

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How do I get the other party served?

You can choose one of 3 ways to serve the defendant:

If the Restrained Person lives or works in San Francisco, you can go through the Sheriff’s Department (located in City Hall, Room 456 on the 4th Floor). If the Restrained person lives or works outside of San Francisco, Ask the ACCESS Center for help.

There is a $30 fee unless you have a granted fee waiver to go through the Sheriff’s Department.

Ask a friend to serve the defendant. Make sure your friend fills out the Proof or Personal Service (CH-200)

Hire a process server. You can find one in the phone book. Make sure you get the completed Proof of Service form from the process server.

A Proof of Service must be completed and signed by the person who serves the other party. You must file the Proof of Service in Room 103 and bring a copy to your court hearing.

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What if I can't get the restraining order served in time for the hearing?

There are two ways you can continue your court date on your Civil Harassment case.

  • If you were not able to serve the defendant, you will need to request the Court to reissue the temporary restraining order. This request is made by completing the Request to Continue Court Hearing and Reissue Temporary Restraining Order (CH-115) and the Notice of New Hearing Date and Order on Reissuance (CH-116). These forms also are available at the Civic Center Courthouse, Room 103, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, excluding Court holidays. The forms must be completed and filed along with a copy of your prior Request for Civil Harassment Restraining Orders (CH-100), a minimum of two days before the date of your scheduled hearing. 
  • You also may orally request a continuance in Court during your hearing. If your request for continuance is granted, the Judge will sign a Notice of New Hearing and Order on Reissuance (CH-116) form and set a new hearing date.

Both methods extend your Temporary Restraining Order so you will be protected until the new hearing date.

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Where can I find someone to help me?

The ACCESS Center can show you how to fill out the forms you will need, explain the filing process, and help you prepare for Court.

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