Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

I'm being threatened with a restraining order to be filed against me, although no physical threats were made by me to the other party, and in fact everything is done online through competing forums where there are a lot of insults directed by both parties, not just me. Most of it involves simple grade school insults like calling the other party a pompous arse and things of that nature.

Already this person has filed a restraining order against my friend in Sacramento and the person who did the filing lives in San Diego and filed it in San Diego. At first the court denied the TRO but on his day in court, when the person in Sacramento didn't show up, it looks like the judge granted the restraining order according to online court records, but we haven't seen the exact order yet.

I would like to know how to head off the immanent stupid restaining order. I could see him trying to sue me for libel, but not a restraining order especially when there is no hint of violence, except to say we want to get a picture of this guy outside his home. But like I said, these cyber wars could get nasty, but they stop short of anything violent ,harassing ,or stalking behavior, although people on their form engage in that type of behavior. That's why it has become so heated on both sides.

Isn't there some kind of motion I could have a lawyer file for me, if and when I get severed with a restaining order in Los Angeles county where I live. The other party is going to serve it in San Diego, perhaps thinking because he lives there, and the my fourm owner lives in San Diego, he could do this.

Asked on 9/19/13, 3:56 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

If you think only violence or threats of violence can justify a restraining order, you're mistaken. They can be justified by harassment as well, even if it only involves words. Depending upon what you said and the contexts in which you said it, a restraining order might be appropriate.

A case against you could properly be filed in Los Angeles, but that doesn't mean L.A. is the only proper venue. Depending upon the facts, San Diego might be proper, too. That might help explain why there seems to already be a restraining order against your Sacramento friend.

You need to take this more seriously than you seem to be. Instead of treating this as a frivolous claim and a mere nuisance, you should see at as a genuine threat that could bring severe consequences.

I encourage you to consult directly with a local attorney to discuss your options.

Good luck.

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Answered on 9/19/13, 4:25 pm

Phillip D. Wheeler, Esq. Phillip D. Wheeler, Attorney At Law

Restraining orders can be issued for many reasons, not just physical threats and violence. Intimidation, harassment, even ONE nasty phone call or instant message can lead to a restraining order. Take it from me, I have clients that did nothing more than get drunk one night and try to call old girlfriends. Guess what: they were issued a restraining order.

Contact an attorney in your area and ask for a free consult. That way, you can have your options laid out for you.

My personal advice: for now, immediately cease any contact with this person whatsoever and contact an attorney in your area.

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Answered on 9/19/13, 5:36 pm

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