What is a Harassment Restraining Order?

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  • Written By: Dana Hinders
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 February 2020
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A harassment restraining order, also sometimes referred to as an HRO, is a legal document that requires an individual who has engaged in harassment or an organization that has sponsored or promoted harassment to stop the offending behavior. Harassment most often refers to repeated intrusive and unwanted acts that endanger your sense of security, safety, and privacy. However, acts such as residential picketing can also be considered harassment under the law. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the order may be effective for up to two years.

To get a harassment restraining order, you will need to visit your local courthouse and fill out a petitioner's affidavit and petition for restraining order. A filing fee may be charged, although policies vary by geographic location. If you are a parent or guardian of a minor child, you may file the paperwork on behalf of him or her.

Generally, it is recommended that you provide as much evidence as possible to document your harasser's misbehavior. This can include police reports, medical records, and affidavits providing a detailed account of all threatening actions. Copies of threatening letters, pictures, or e-mails may also be useful. The court administrator should be available for clerical assistance or to answer any questions that you may have about your case.


When you request a harassment restraining order, a copy of the petition must be personally delivered to your alleged harasser. In most cases, an employee from the sheriff's office will handle the delivery. However, if you do not have a valid address for the person, delivery may also be accomplished by a one week published notice in the local newspaper. If you do not have the order personally delivered or request a published notice, your petition expires 14 days after the judge first signed it.

If you believe you need protection from your harasser until the hearing, you can request that the court issue a temporary restraining order. This document provides all of the protection of a harassment restraining order, but is only valid until your hearing date. If you do not make your court appearance, the temporary restraining order will expire.

A harassment restraining order is sometimes confused with an order for protection. An order for protection, also known as an OFP, is a special type of restraining order that is used to protect victims of domestic abuse. An OFP covers physical, sexual abuse, and verbal threats of abuse to a spouse and/or minor child.


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Post 12

My daughter is 41 years old and a drug addict. She has been harassing to me and coming to my house, breaking the windows, screen, yelling offensive words in anger and treating me with no respect, and this happens often. I went to the court house to get a petition, but there were questions asking where she lives, her phone number and so forth. I really don't know her whereabouts. What can I do?

Post 11

My ex, and baby's father, posts on Facebook that I'm a whore and also sends me hundreds of texts and calls me hundreds of times. He abused me physically and emotionally in the past. I have evidence of everything. I blocked his number, but on my phone I still get his voicemails and can see his text messages. He keeps calling me names and putting me down. I live in Philadelphia. Can I get him for harassment?

Post 9

I rented a house in Edmonton. The owner's son was to be in the basement for a very short time as he was going to move in with his girlfriend.

That was a year ago. Then, his mother moved in with him for six months who is the owner of the house she has her sister look after the house as are landlord all we get from her is harassment she had are phone and cable cut off we have had no fridge since July. It is now the end of August. She said that we damaged it, but we told her in May that it was not working right. She has come into the back yard and changed the gate lock without telling us. Would you call that harassment.

Post 8

I got a harassment order against the man that owns the house next to mine. It was granted and he was served. My sister-n-law rents an apartment from him and I needed to go there to drop something off that she needed. He stopped and told her that my family could not be there and that we are nuts. Can he legally do this?

Post 6

I have a neighbor who is constantly after us one way or another. It started with them asking to take care of a lot of my outside plants while I went on vacation.

When I returned, they were all dead. The neighbor called and ask if I was mad at her? I said just disappointed in my plants the way they look. She started yelling. I went over and said let's not worry over these. She freaked out on me.

I gave her a gift I bought her for taking care of them that I got while on my trip. Two months later, it was thrown in my yard. Since then it has been a living Hell.

I was outside planting flowers and she came out of her house and called me filthy names. I called the police because things just keep happening with them. They flip us off and etc. Please give me advice?

Post 4

This guy goes to my church and I have never talked to him. For the past four years he has called my job and my home. He drives by my house. He has also sat at my job for hours trying to get me to talk to him. Will this get him to leave me alone?

Post 3

You should definitely retaliate by counter suing him back for causing you stress and wasting your time.

Post 2

i hung out one day with this guy and he now says it was a date when it wasn't. he says i owe him a second date. this guy has been texting me, threatening that he is going to come to my house and break hell loose on me. I am 18 and i don't know what to do. i don't want my parents to know about this problem. Help!

Post 1

i attend college and a guy and his family have been attacking me and my family, although not physically. i have been to the police and they agree with me that it's pathetic and there's nothing they can do. now this guy has filed a restraining order against me and trying to get me out of college but i haven't retaliated in any way. what can i do?

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