What are the steps involved with getting a CHO?
The steps to get a civil harassment order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence restraining order. If you have any questions, call the clerk of court. You can find the contact information for your clerk on the CA Courthouse Locations page.
To see the necessary forms to fill out, please visit the California Courts Self Help Center.
How much does a civil harassment order cost?
If you are requesting the civil harassment order against a person who was violent, threatened you with violence, stalked you, or acted or spoken in any other way that made you reasonably fear violence, there is no fee for filing or serving the order, for a subpoena related to the case, or to respond to a petition based on these acts. In other cases, you may have to pay a fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver.1
1 Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(x),(y)
Will the harasser be notified that I am trying to get a civil harassment order against him/her?
Yes. The harasser must be personally served with a copy of your petition and the temporary restraining order (if there is one) as well as notice of the hearing where the judge will decide whether or not to grant you a final civil harassment order. The harasser must be served at least 5 days before the hearing unless the judge decides there is good reason to shorten that time.1 Your forms can be personally served by anyone over 18 years of age who is not involved in your case,2 such as a friend, a relative, law enforcement or a professional process server.
1 Ann.Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(m)
2 Ann.Cal.C.C.P. § 414.10
I don’t have a lawyer but I am afraid to face the harasser in court by myself. What can I do?
You don’t have to go to court alone. You can bring a “support person” with you so that you feel safe. A support person can be a friend, neighbor, church official, family member, or anyone else that you would like to have in court with you to help give you moral support. There is no training or certification necessary to become a support person, so whoever you choose does not need to take any sort of class before attending court with you. Your support person can go with you to court to get a civil harassment order, and if you don’t have a lawyer, s/he can sit beside you at the table where the lawyer would normally sit.1
1 Ann.Cal.C.C.P. § 527.6(l)