If you find yourself struggling with neighbors who disturb your peace, harass you or otherwise interfere with your quiet enjoyment of your home, you have the ability to seek a restraining order against them. The process for obtaining a restraining order is established in the code of civil procedure in force in your state, according to "Civil Procedure" by Stephen C. Yeazell. Although some minor variations exist, the basic procedure to obtain a restraining order against bad neighbors is the same no matter where you reside in the United States.
Go to the clerk of the court in the county where you reside. Request a petition for restraining order form. The typical court clerk maintains a set of forms for people who need to pursue a case in court but do not retain attorneys. Included with the petition for restraining order is an affidavit as well as instructions to complete both forms.
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Complete the affidavit associated with the restraining order. Insert basic facts in the affidavit regarding the conduct of your neighbors that you believe can be stopped only through a restraining order. Sign the affidavit in front of the restraining order.
Fill out the petition for restraining order. In the petition, you set forth that your neighbors engage in a pattern and practice of harassing behavior that interferes with your ability to enjoy your home. Include all of the names of the neighbors in question in the petition. Sign the petition.
Attach the affidavit to the petition as an exhibit.
Return to the clerk of the court and file the petition. Pay the filing fee, which varies from one jurisdiction to another. The clerk provides you specific information on the required fee.
Request the clerk to direct the sheriff's department to serve the petition for restraining order on your neighbors.
Obtain a hearing date from the court clerk. The initial hearing date will be set within about a week from the filing of the petition.
Attend the hearing and present evidence supporting your claim of harassment against your neighbors.
Sometimes dealing with bad neighbors rises to the level of a major problem. Consider hiring a lawyer to represent you and your family if you find yourself needing a restraining order to combat bad neighbors. The American Bar Association maintains resources to assist you in finding an appropriate attorney to represent you in a restraining order matter.
- "Civil Procedure"; Stephen C. Yeazell; 2008
- "Civil Procedure Examples & Explanations"; Joseph W. Glannon; 2008
Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.