For the purposes of getting a civil harassment order, harassment is defined as:
- Unlawful violence, such as:
- assault (attempting to cause a violent injury to you)
- battery (use of force against you) or
- stalking (repeatedly following or harassing you with the intent to place you in reasonable fear for your safety or your immediate family's safety);*
- A credible threat of violence (a statement or actions that reasonably place you in fear for your safety, or the safety of your immediate family); or
- Repeated actions (such as following you, making harassing telephone calls, or sending harassing emails) that seriously alarm, annoy, or harass you, and that serve no legitimate purpose and causes you to be extremely emotionally upset (distressed).**
A civil harassment order may also be called an injunction prohibiting harassment. "Injunction" is another word for a restraining order.* You can get a civil harassment order against someone who you are in a relationship with or related to OR against someone you do NOT have an intimate or familial relationship with (such as an acquaintance, co-worker, neighbor, or stranger). The purpose of a civil harassment order is to stop further abuse and harassment.**
In a civil harassment order, a judge can order the harasser to stop harassing you and to stay away from you. You may receive a temporary order, which will last until you can have a full court hearing (usually within 15 or 22 days)*** and a final order, which will last up to three years.****
Cal Pen Code §
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,
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a
fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and
imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
person who violates subdivision (a) when there is a temporary restraining order,
injunction, or any other court order in effect prohibiting the behavior
described in subdivision (a) against the same party, shall be punished by
imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.
(1) Every person who, after having
been convicted of a felony under Section
273.5, 273.6, or 422, commits a
violation of subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail
for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars
($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state
prison for two, three, or five years.
(2) Every person who, after having
been convicted of a felony under
(a), commits a violation of this section shall be punished by imprisonment in
the state prison for two, three, or five years.
addition to the penalties provided in this section, the sentencing court may
order a person convicted of a felony under this section to register as a sex
offender pursuant to Section 290.006.
purposes of this section, "harasses" means engages in a knowing and willful
course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys,
torments, or terrorizes the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose.
purposes of this section, "course of conduct" means two or more acts occurring
over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose.
Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of
"course of conduct."
purposes of this section, "credible threat" means a verbal or written threat,
including that performed through the use of an electronic communication device,
or a threat implied by a pattern of conduct or a combination of verbal, written,
or electronically communicated statements and conduct, made with the intent to
place the person that is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or
her safety or the safety of his or her family, and made with the apparent
ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of
the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her
family. It is not necessary to prove that the defendant had the intent to
actually carry out the threat. The present incarceration of a person making the
threat shall not be a bar to prosecution under this section. Constitutionally
protected activity is not included within the meaning of "credible threat."
purposes of this section, the term "electronic communication device" includes,
but is not limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, video recorders,
fax machines, or pagers. "Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the
term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States
section shall not apply to conduct that occurs during labor picketing.
probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of a sentence is suspended,
for any person convicted under this section, it shall be a condition of
probation that the person participate in counseling, as designated by the court.
However, the court, upon a showing of good cause, may find that the counseling
requirement shall not be imposed.
(1) The sentencing court also shall
consider issuing an order restraining the
defendant from any contact with
the victim, that may be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the court. It
is the intent of the Legislature that the length of any restraining order be
based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the probability of
future violations, and the safety of the victim and his or her immediate
(2) This protective order may be
issued by the court whether the defendant is
sentenced to state prison, county
jail, or if imposition of sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on
(l) For purposes of this section, "immediate family" means any spouse, parent, child,
any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any
other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior
six months, regularly resided in the household.
The court shall consider whether the defendant would benefit from treatment pursuant to Section 2684. If it is determined to be appropriate, the court shall
recommend that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation make a
certification as provided in Section 2684. Upon the certification, the defendant
shall be evaluated and transferred to the appropriate hospital for treatment
pursuant to Section 2684.