Being neighborly could mean loaning somebody a cup of flour or holding the ladder while they clean their gutters. Typically, people try to cultivate positive relationships with their neighbors, as they will encounter one another repeatedly throughout the course of their daily lives. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same sense of neighborly obligation toward the people that live in their community. Some people can even become abusive toward their neighbors.

Neighborly conflicts can stem from all sorts of issues. Perhaps the house next door to yours that was once occupied by a family was recently purchased by an investor who has rented it out to very loud tenants who throw parties or get into fights. Maybe you witnessed something that has embarrassed your neighbor, and now they’ve become aggressive or threatening toward you.

Even something as simple as the placement of a fence, disagreements about where a dog can go to the bathroom or on whose side of the driveway the garbage cans should go could lead to a neighbor becoming aggressive, abusive or downright threatening. If you worry that your neighbor will continue to threaten you or if you have begun to fear for your safety, asking the San Diego courts for a civil harassment restraining order could be the solution you need.

Civil harassment restraining orders can apply where domestic violence ones do not

Even if your neighbor has made threats of violence against you, the relationship you have with them may not qualify for a standard domestic violence restraining order. These special protective orders are typically only available to those who fear for their safety because of actions taken by a girlfriend, a boyfriend, an intimate partner, a spouse or a family member.

However, someone does not need to be part of your immediate family to pose a threat to you or to make it difficult for you to live peacefully in your home. A civil harassment restraining order can allow you to address specific problematic behaviors on the part of your neighbor without necessarily forcing them to move to a new location.

The restraining order, for example, could specifically prohibit them from contacting you online, attempting to knock on your door or engaging in abusive behaviors, such as intentionally throwing loud parties late at night. As with domestic violence restraining orders, if your neighbor violates the terms of the order, you can contact law enforcement to come out and enforce the order.

What constitutes civil harassment?

Your neighbor will need to engage in specific behaviors in order for you to qualify for a civil harassment restraining order. Those behaviors include violence, stalking or credible threats of violence. Additionally, ongoing threats of violence or aggressive communication without provocation may also justify someone in seeking a civil harassment restraining order.