In California, harassment commonly refers to the act of subjecting someone to repeated aggressive pressure or intimidation. An individual who is found guilty of harassing his neighbor is subject to penalties under state law.
California statute 527.6 states that a harasser is someone who inflicts unlawful violence or a threat of violence upon another, regardless of his relationship to the victim. A harasser is also someone who engages, with intent to harass, in a course of conduct that is threatening and alarming to the plaintiff.
California's harassment statute does not include any violence undertaken as a result of self-defense or defense of another. Harassment involves a series of actions that have the same intent —to harass the victim. However, the statute allows an exception for acts that are deemed constitutional rights of an individual.
Course of Action
A victim of neighbor harassment, upon showing evidence to the court, may receive a temporary restraining order. After 15 to 22 days, the temporary retraining order usually expires. By this time, a court case should take place, in which a California judge determines if there is just cause for a more permanent restraining order. If so, the restraining order can last for up to three years. During the restraining order period, the harasser may not possess or purchase a firearm.
California's restraining order laws include all acts of harassment by neighbors. In cases of neighbor harassment, police officers may have difficulty enforcing a restraining order because of residential proximity. A California restraining order allows police to remove and bar the harasser from a joint residence. A judge can also determine whether or not to remove and bar a harassing neighbor from her residence.