Civil Harassment Filings
Filings of this nature can happen unexpectedly and without warning. While personal service is required, the court can issue an order allowing sub service. There is often little opportunity to respond. However, every person who is accused has the opportunity to respond or answer before any hearing can take place.
The standard is by a preponderance, which is essentially likely to be that a battery or a non-contact assault occurred. Typically, very little evidence it is required by the court to prove such allegations. According to the 6th District Court of Appeals, even the slightest touching is enough to constitute a cause for action. Whether or not there is a case is resolved by a formal court where police reports and hearsay are accepted as evidence. The standard of reasonable doubt is much lower in these cases than it is in criminal courts. Even the appearance of either party or their behavior or demeanor in court is enough it influence the judge in the issue of a restraining order which may be for a period of 1 to 5 years. If a restraining order is issued it is entered in the state criminal database and if there is any contact (by cell phone, text, through 3rd parties etc.) each instance of contact is treated as a violation of the restraining order and the person in breach will be subject to arrest in both civil and criminal courts. Even a hearsay statement to the police of such a violation is enough for action to be taken.
That is why these matters must be taken very seriously and why an experienced and prepared attorney should be present to handle the case. The Law Office of Holden Green has handled such cases in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties and has the experience to properly protect their clients’ interests.
To know more about the protection available to you and the legal recourses open if such a filing is done, contact the Law Office of Holden Green for an in-office consultation with Mr. Green.