Good Fences Not Enough? You May Need a Civil Harassment Restraining Order Against a Neighbor
Wondering when the proper time to get a civil harassment restraining order against a neighbor is? We will explain how and when you should take this action. DoNotPay can also help you create a demand letter and warn your neighbors about the consequences of their actions.
Civil harassment is the abuse by someone with whom you don’t have a close relationship with—roommates, neighbors, and acquaintances. Actions that have harmed you performed by family members and people you’ve dated fall under domestic violence.
Before you decide to get a civil harassment restraining order against your neighbor, you need to find out what behavior makes the list. Here is the list of actions that are valid reasons to go forward with your decision:
- Credible threats of violence (e.g., making harassing calls or sending harassing messages over a period of time)
When you want to get a civil harassment restraining order against a neighbor, you need to file a court form where you explain to the judge what orders you want and for what reason. Here is what you need to do to get a restraining order:
- Find out if your situation qualifies as civil harassment
- Fill out the restraining order forms
- Complete your court’s local forms (if there are any)
- Have your forms reviewed at your court’s self-help center
- Make at least five copies of all the forms
- Take your court forms to the court clerk
- File the forms
The general steps that ensue during the restraining order process are the following:
- You file a court form
- The judge decides if they will make the order
- The clerk sets a date for the hearing
- The judge makes temporary orders that last until your court date
- You serve your neighbor with a copy of all the restraining order papers before the court date
- You and the neighbor go to the hearing
- The judge decides if they will extend the temporary order and make it permanent
If you get a restraining order against your neighbor, they will not be able to:
- Contact you or other members of your household
- Get near you or your family members no matter where you go
- Go near your work or school
- Have a gun
In case your neighbor violates the restraining order, they can end up going to jail, paying a fine, or both.
Take a look at the table below to see more information about the four types of civil harassment restraining orders:
|Civil Harassment Restraining Order||What It Involves|
|Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)||The judge can make a temporary restraining order before the court hearing date. It generally lasts between 20 and 25 days|
|Permanent Restraining Order (Restraining Order After Hearing)||This order is an extension of the TRO, and it can last up to five years after the court hearing|
|Emergency Protective Order (EPO)||Only law enforcement can ask for this restraining order by calling a judge. EPO is solely available in cases of stalking, and it can last up to seven days|
|Criminal Protective Order or “Stay-Away” Order||The criminal court can issue a criminal protective order against the defendant (your neighbor) that is in effect while the criminal case is going on|
If you don’t need a restarting order from your neighbors, but they are still being annoying, you should sign up for DoNotPay to find help.
Most of the time, your neighbors’ actions are not life-threatening, but they may feel like that to your ears. Noisy neighbors, barking dogs, Wi-Fi theft, cars blocking your driveway, and similar occurrences can often cause you a headache.
If you want to make your neighbors change their habits without involving law enforcement, you can count on DoNotPay. Our app can help you create a demand letter in a few easy steps. You only need to:
- Sign up for DoNotPay in a web browser
- Tell us what the problem is
- Provide us with some additional information about the situation—what steps you’ve already taken, for example
We will send the letter to your neighbor on your behalf as soon as possible.
DoNotPay has numerous guides on how to deal with problematic behavior coming from your nearby residents. Here are some of the most common ways neighbors can disrupt your peace:
- Keeping an aggressive dog
- Walking loudly around the apartment
- Having loud sex
- Having a cat that poops in your yard
- Damaging your fence with a tree
- Stealing water
- Being nosy
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