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By Kat Giantis

Memo to the paparazzi: It's unwise to mess with a celebrity's offspring. Nicole Richie went into Mama Bear mode on Wednesday by taking out a restraining order against a photographer who has allegedly been staking out the preschool of her 22-month-old daughter, Harlow, reports TMZ.

In her keep-away petition, the future Mrs. Joel Madden claims lensman Fabricio Luis Mariotto "drives erratically around my children and others, yells, screams and attempts to scare us so that he can photograph our reaction. He trespasses on preschool property to photograph the children."

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Richie supported her request by attaching a photo of her own -- one that shows the photog standing in the shadows outside the school, telephoto-lens-equipped camera in hand.

"He has often left his car in the middle of a busy street just to chase me for a photograph," maintains the mom of two (son Sparrow is 1). "His predatory behavior caused and continues to cause severe emotional distress, as I fear for the safety of my children."

Under the temporary restraining order, Mariotto must stay 100 yards away from the entire family, as well as the preschool.

Last month, Nicole took to her blog to rail against a photo agency that she believed had stationed the shutterbugs at Harlow's school.

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"THANK YOU so much for posting the video of your employees sitting outside of my daughter's school, because now the entire world can see how creepy and disgusting you are," she fumed. "Here's a better visual: Pulling up to school and seeing grown men slouched in black windowed cars outside of a preschool, all day. I'm not even there, so you cannot say you are following me as you always do. You are stalking the children. Now how do you feel?"

In one of the clips, a camera-toting Madden approaches the paparazzi and warns, "You guys better hope you're all right sitting outside of a school, [because] you know I'm gonna have all your tags run and everything."

A year ago, Nicole ended up seeking medical attention after she was rear-ended by paparazzi while driving in Beverly Hills. Fortunately, neither Harlow nor Sparrow was in the car with her.