In a potentially precedent-setting move, a father from San Francisco has asked a judge for a restraining order – against an alleged nine-year-old bully. Generally, restraining orders are routinely issued against adult abusers, stalkers, significant others, and the like. However, as most parents presumably would, Stephen Feudner wanted answers after learning his 9-year-old son told him he’d been bullied, pushed, and punched at Rolling Hills Elementary School. When the public school claimed its hands were tied and refused to help, Feudner turned to the law.
Feudner’s temporary restraining order (TRO) from a Solano County judge stipulates that the alleged bully must remain 2 yards away from his son at all times and have no contact with him whatsoever. Daryl Snedeker of the Solano County Sheriff’s Department says he’s never heard of a restraining order against a grade-school student. However, the boy’s mother points out that there is no law against filing a restraining order against a child – and she’s right.
There are different kinds of restraining orders available through the court system, and each order has different eligibility requirements. For a restraining order against a child similar to the Feudners’ situation, a Civil Harassment Restraining Order would likely be the most appropriate. Civil Harassment Restraining Orders can be filed in Santa Clara County if the filing party and the other party do not have a familial or dating relationship (married, divorced, separated, dating or used to date, live together or used to live together) or are not related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-laws).
As for the Feudners, there’s a small but possibly determinative glitch in their case: the Solano County Sheriff’s Office officials had to serve the TRO within five days for it to go into effect. However, in order to serve the TRO, officials needed the alleged bully’s first and last name and full address. As of now, the school district still remains unwilling to release the information.
Although the Feudners’ restraining order against a school-aged child is unique, temporary restraining orders are very common, particularly in domestic violence situations. If you have any questions about restraining orders or are contemplating filing one, please contact our California Certified Family Law Specialists (as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization) at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling complex family law proceedings and offer a free half-hour consultation.
Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.