There are 4 types of abuse or harassment cases in civil court:
Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abusive person are:
The domestic violence laws say “abuse” is:
Keep in mind that abuse and domestic violence do not have to be only physical. Abuse can be verbal (spoken), emotional, or psychological. You do not have to be physically hit to be abused. Often, abuse takes many forms, and abusers use a combination of tactics to control and have power over the person being abused. Read more about Domestic Violence.
If you are being abused in any of these ways or you feel afraid or controlled by your partner/spouse or someone you are close with, it may help you to talk to a domestic violence counselor, even if you do not want (or are not sure if you want) to ask for legal protection. Find domestic violence counselors and resources in your county.
Read about the law in Family Code section 6203.
Abuse of an elder or a dependent adult is abuse of:
The law says elder or dependent adult abuse is:
Read about the law in Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.07.
In general, civil harassment is abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment by someone you have not dated and do NOT have a close family relationship with, like a neighbor, a roommate, or a friend (that you have never dated). It is also civil harassment if the abuse is from a family member that is not included in the list under domestic violence. So, for example, if the abuse is from an uncle or aunt, a niece or nephew, or a cousin, it is considered civil harassment and NOT domestic violence.
The civil harassment laws say “harassment” is:
“Credible threat of violence” means intentionally saying something or acting in a way that would make a reasonable person afraid for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family. A “credible threat of violence” includes following or stalking someone or making harassing calls or sending harassing messages (by phone, mail, or e-mail) over a period of time (even if it is a short time).
Read about the law in Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6.
For a workplace violence situation, the harassment is defined in the same way as for civil harassment. The difference is that the harassment happens primarily at work AND it is the employer of the harassed employee who asks for protection for the employee (and, if necessary, for the employee’s family).
For an employer to get a workplace violence restraining order on behalf of an employee, there needs to be reasonable proof that:
Read about the law in Code of Civil Procedure section 527.8.