California Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6
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California Laws > Code of Civil Procedure > California Code of Civil Procedure Section 527.6
527.6. (a) (1) A person who has suffered harassment as defined in
subdivision (b) may seek a temporary restraining order and an
injunction prohibiting harassment as provided in this section.
(2) A minor, under 12 years of age, accompanied by a duly
appointed and acting guardian ad litem, shall be permitted to appear
in court without counsel for the limited purpose of requesting or
opposing a request for a temporary restraining order or injunction,
or both, under this section as provided in Section 374.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Course of conduct" is a pattern of conduct composed of a
series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a
continuity of purpose, including following or stalking an individual,
making harassing telephone calls to an individual, or sending
harassing correspondence to an individual by any means, including,
but not limited to, the use of public or private mails, interoffice
mail, facsimile, or computer email. Constitutionally protected
activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."
(2) "Credible threat of violence" is a knowing and willful
statement or course of conduct that would place a reasonable person
in fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate
family, and that serves no legitimate purpose.
(3) "Harassment" is unlawful violence, a credible threat of
violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a
specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the
person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct
must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial
emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional
distress to the petitioner.
(4) "Petitioner" means the person to be protected by the temporary
restraining order and injunction and, if the court grants the
petition, the protected person.
(5) "Respondent" means the person against whom the temporary
restraining order and injunction are sought and, if the petition is
granted, the restrained person.
(6) "Temporary restraining order" and "injunction" mean orders
that include any of the following restraining orders, whether issued
ex parte or after notice and hearing:
(A) An order enjoining a party from harassing, intimidating,
molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually
assaulting, battering, abusing, telephoning, including, but not
limited to, making annoying telephone calls, as described in Section
653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting,
either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, or coming within
a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of, the petitioner.
(B) An order enjoining a party from specified behavior that the
court determines is necessary to effectuate orders described in
(7) "Unlawful violence" is any assault or battery, or stalking as
prohibited in Section 646.9 of the Penal Code, but shall not include
lawful acts of self-defense or defense of others.
(c) In the discretion of the court, on a showing of good cause, a
temporary restraining order or injunction issued under this section
may include other named family or household members.
(d) Upon filing a petition for an injunction under this section,
the petitioner may obtain a temporary restraining order in accordance
with Section 527, except to the extent this section provides a rule
that is inconsistent. The temporary restraining order may include any
of the restraining orders described in paragraph (6) of subdivision
(b). A temporary restraining order may be issued with or without
notice, based on a declaration that, to the satisfaction of the
court, shows reasonable proof of harassment of the petitioner by the
respondent, and that great or irreparable harm would result to the
(e) A request for the issuance of a temporary restraining order
without notice under this section shall be granted or denied on the
same day that the petition is submitted to the court, unless the
petition is filed too late in the day to permit effective review, in
which case the order shall be granted or denied on the next day of
judicial business in sufficient time for the order to be filed that
day with the clerk of the court.
(f) A temporary restraining order issued under this section shall
remain in effect, at the court's discretion, for a period not to
exceed 21 days, or, if the court extends the time for hearing under
subdivision (g), not to exceed 25 days, unless otherwise modified or
terminated by the court.
(g) Within 21 days, or, if good cause appears to the court, 25
days from the date that a petition for a temporary order is granted
or denied, a hearing shall be held on the petition for the
injunction. If no request for temporary orders is made, the hearing
shall be held within 21 days, or, if good cause appears to the court,
25 days, from the date that the petition is filed.
(h) The respondent may file a response that explains, excuses,
justifies, or denies the alleged harassment or may file a
cross-petition under this section.
(i) At the hearing, the judge shall receive any testimony that is
relevant, and may make an independent inquiry. If the judge finds by
clear and convincing evidence that unlawful harassment exists, an
injunction shall issue prohibiting the harassment.
(j) (1) In the discretion of the court, an order issued after
notice and hearing under this section may have a duration of not more
than three years, subject to termination or modification by further
order of the court either on written stipulation filed with the court
or on the motion of a party. These orders may be renewed, upon the
request of a party, for a duration of not more than three years,
without a showing of any further harassment since the issuance of the
original order, subject to termination or modification by further
order of the court either on written stipulation filed with the court
or on the motion of a party. The request for renewal may be brought
at any time within the three months before the expiration of the
(2) The failure to state the expiration date on the face of the
form creates an order with a duration of three years from the date of
(3) If an action is filed for the purpose of terminating or
modifying a protective order prior to the expiration date specified
in the order by a party other than the protected party, the party who
is protected by the order shall be given notice, pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 1005, of the proceeding by personal
service or, if the protected party has satisfied the requirements of
Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 6205) of Division 7 of Title 1
of the Government Code, by service on the Secretary of State. If the
party who is protected by the order cannot be notified prior to the
hearing for modification or termination of the protective order, the
court shall deny the motion to modify or terminate the order without
prejudice or continue the hearing until the party who is protected
can be properly noticed and may, upon a showing of good cause,
specify another method for service of process that is reasonably
designed to afford actual notice to the protected party. The
protected party may waive his or her right to notice if he or she is
physically present in court and does not challenge the sufficiency of
(k) This section does not preclude either party from
representation by private counsel or from appearing on the party's
(l) In a proceeding under this section if there are allegations of
unlawful violence or credible threats of violence, a support person
may accompany a party in court and, if the party is not represented
by an attorney, may sit with the party at the table that is generally
reserved for the party and the party's attorney. The support person
is present to provide moral and emotional support for a person who
alleges he or she is a victim of violence. The support person is not
present as a legal adviser and may not provide legal advice. The
support person may assist the person who alleges he or she is a
victim of violence in feeling more confident that he or she will not
be injured or threatened by the other party during the proceedings if
the person who alleges he or she is a victim of violence and the
other party are required to be present in close proximity. This
subdivision does not preclude the court from exercising its
discretion to remove the support person from the courtroom if the
court believes the support person is prompting, swaying, or
influencing the party assisted by the support person.
(m) Upon the filing of a petition for an injunction under this
section, the respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the
petition, temporary restraining order, if any, and notice of hearing
of the petition. Service shall be made at least five days before the
hearing. The court may for good cause, on motion of the petitioner
or on its own motion, shorten the time for service on the respondent.
(n) A notice of hearing under this section shall notify the
respondent that if he or she does not attend the hearing, the court
may make orders against him or her that could last up to three years.
(o) (1) The court may, upon the filing of a declaration by the
petitioner that the respondent could not be served within the time
required by statute, reissue an order previously issued and dissolved
by the court for failure to serve the respondent. The reissued order
shall remain in effect until the date set for the hearing.
(2) The reissued order shall state on its face the date of
expiration of the order.
(p) (1) If a respondent, named in a restraining order issued after
a hearing, has not been served personally with the order but has
received actual notice of the existence and substance of the order
through personal appearance in court to hear the terms of the order
from the court, no additional proof of service is required for
enforcement of the order.
(2) If the respondent named in a temporary restraining order is
personally served with the order and notice of hearing with respect
to a restraining order or protective order based on the temporary
restraining order, but the respondent does not appear at the hearing,
either personally or by an attorney, and the terms and conditions of
the restraining order or protective order issued at the hearing are
identical to the temporary restraining order, except for the duration
of the order, then the restraining order or protective order issued
at the hearing may be served on the respondent by first-class mail
sent to the respondent at the most current address for the respondent
available to the court.
(3) The Judicial Council form for temporary orders issued pursuant
to this subdivision shall contain a statement in substantially the
"If you have been personally served with this temporary
restraining order and notice of hearing, but you do not appear at the
hearing either in person or by a lawyer, and a restraining order
that is the same as this temporary restraining order except for the
expiration date is issued at the hearing, a copy of the restraining
order will be served on you by mail at the following address: ____.
If that address is not correct or you wish to verify that the
temporary restraining order was converted to a restraining order at
the hearing without substantive change and to find out the duration
of that order, contact the clerk of the court."
(q) (1) Information on any temporary restraining order or
injunction relating to civil harassment issued by a court pursuant to
this section shall be transmitted to the Department of Justice in
accordance with either paragraph (2) or (3).
(2) The court shall order the petitioner or the attorney for the
petitioner to deliver a copy of an order issued under this section,
or reissuance, extension, modification, or termination of the order,
and any subsequent proof of service, by the close of the business day
on which the order, reissuance, extension, modification, or
termination was made, to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction
over the residence of the petitioner and to any additional law
enforcement agencies within the court's discretion as are requested
by the petitioner.
(3) Alternatively, the court or its designee shall transmit,
within one business day, to law enforcement personnel all information
required under subdivision (b) of Section 6380 of the Family Code
regarding any order issued under this section, or a reissuance,
extension, modification, or termination of the order, and any
subsequent proof of service, by either one of the following methods:
(A) Transmitting a physical copy of the order or proof of service
to a local law enforcement agency authorized by the Department of
Justice to enter orders into the California Law Enforcement
Telecommunications System (CLETS).
(B) With the approval of the Department of Justice, entering the
order or proof of service into CLETS directly.
(4) Each appropriate law enforcement agency shall make available
information as to the existence and current status of these orders to
law enforcement officers responding to the scene of reported
(5) An order issued under this section shall, on request of the
petitioner, be served on the respondent, whether or not the
respondent has been taken into custody, by any law enforcement
officer who is present at the scene of reported harassment involving
the parties to the proceeding. The petitioner shall provide the
officer with an endorsed copy of the order and a proof of service
that the officer shall complete and send to the issuing court.
(6) Upon receiving information at the scene of an incident of
harassment that a protective order has been issued under this
section, or that a person who has been taken into custody is the
subject of an order, if the protected person cannot produce a
certified copy of the order, a law enforcement officer shall
immediately attempt to verify the existence of the order.
(7) If the law enforcement officer determines that a protective
order has been issued, but not served, the officer shall immediately
notify the respondent of the terms of the order and shall at that
time also enforce the order. Verbal notice of the terms of the order
shall constitute service of the order and is sufficient notice for
the purposes of this section and for the purposes of Section 29825 of
the Penal Code.
(r) The prevailing party in any action brought under this section
may be awarded court costs and attorney's fees, if any.
(s) Any willful disobedience of any temporary restraining order or
injunction granted under this section is punishable pursuant to
Section 273.6 of the Penal Code.
(t) (1) A person subject to a protective order issued under this
section shall not own, possess, purchase, receive, or attempt to
purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition while the protective
order is in effect.
(2) The court shall order a person subject to a protective order
issued under this section to relinquish any firearms he or she owns
or possesses pursuant to Section 527.9.
(3) Every person who owns, possesses, purchases, or receives, or
attempts to purchase or receive, a firearm or ammunition while the
protective order is in effect is punishable pursuant to Section 29825
of the Penal Code.
(u) This section does not apply to any action or proceeding
covered by Title 1.6C (commencing with Section 1788) of Part 4 of
Division 3 of the Civil Code or by Division 10 (commencing with
Section 6200) of the Family Code. This section does not preclude a
petitioner from using other existing civil remedies.
(v) (1) The Judicial Council shall develop forms, instructions,
and rules relating to matters governed by this section. The petition
and response forms shall be simple and concise, and their use by
parties in actions brought pursuant to this section shall be
(2) A temporary restraining order or injunction relating to civil
harassment issued by a court pursuant to this section shall be issued
on forms adopted by the Judicial Council of California and that have
been approved by the Department of Justice pursuant to subdivision
(i) of Section 6380 of the Family Code. However, the fact that an
order issued by a court pursuant to this section was not issued on
forms adopted by the Judicial Council and approved by the Department
of Justice shall not, in and of itself, make the order unenforceable.
(w) There is no filing fee for a petition that alleges that a
person has inflicted or threatened violence against the petitioner,
or stalked the petitioner, or acted or spoken in any other manner
that has placed the petitioner in reasonable fear of violence, and
that seeks a protective or restraining order or injunction
restraining stalking or future violence or threats of violence, in
any action brought pursuant to this section. No fee shall be paid for
a subpoena filed in connection with a petition alleging these acts.
No fee shall be paid for filing a response to a petition alleging
(x) (1) Subject to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section
6103.2 of the Government Code, there shall be no fee for the service
of process by a sheriff or marshal of a protective order, restraining
order, or injunction to be issued, if either of the following
(A) The protective order, restraining order, or injunction issued
pursuant to this section is based upon stalking, as prohibited by
Section 646.9 of the Penal Code.
(B) The protective order, restraining order, or injunction issued
pursuant to this section is based upon unlawful violence or a
credible threat of violence.
(2) The Judicial Council shall prepare and develop forms for
persons who wish to avail themselves of the services described in
Last modified: February 22, 2013