For a civil suit you must have economic losses or personal injury. If you reach that threshhold, then you may also be compensated money for pain and suffering. But to be able to sue in the first place, you need actual damages as mentnioned above.
You can get an emergency ex-parte temporary restraining order through the civil courts, the way the clerk told you. That is, you can get the order without notice to the other party, and once the defendant is served with the order, he would not be able to have further contact with you, unless he wanted to go to jail.
Although you would be able to get a temporary order without letting him know in advance, the only way to get the order converted into a permanent restraining order would involve a hearing before the judge which both of you would be expected to attend.
At the hearing, you would have to show by a preponderance of the evidence that you need protection from him. YOu would do this by your testimony and any other kind of evidence that you have -- witnesses, emails, videos, phone call recordings, photographs. Then he would get a similar chance to show the judge that he is not a danger to you and to try to get the restraining order lifted.
Once both parties finish with presenting their case to the judge at the hearing, the judge decides whether to grant the permanent restraining order or to lift the order against the defendant.
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