In California, a person can seek a Civil Harassment Restraining Order (“CHRO”) to prevent a person from engaging in harassing, abusing, stalking, or threatening conduct to him or her. CHRO’s are intended to protect a person from harm and threats of harm from someone else. When properly brought before a Court, a permanent order can remain in place for a period of up to five years and can prevent the restrained person from engaging in a wide variety of harassing conduct. Violating the terms of a CHRO is a crime governed by Penal Code 273.6 and can lead to misdemeanor charges in most cases. A violation of Penal Code 273.6 is punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.00.
CHRO’s are often compared to domestic violence restraining orders (“DVRO”), but the difference between a CHRO and DVRO concerns “who” the order is sought against. A DVRO is intended to protect a person from another where a close relationship exists (e.g., spouse, member of household, etc.). A CHRO, on the other hand, can be sought against a neighbor or even a roommate. CHRO’s also differ from the other types of restraining orders in California, including elder abuse restraining orders (“EARO”) and Workplace Violence Restraining Orders (“WVRO”).