A protective order is a court order that protects the victim of domestic abuse from suffering further abuse by ordering the abuser to stay away from the victim, among other things. The order will be particular about how near the abuser can come to the victim and will cover the victim’s place of employment, family, and friends of the victim – and if the victim is a child, the victim’s school.
Any member of a household or family may ask a court for an Order for Protection. For information about your specific situation, contact the family law attorneys of Mims Ballew Hollingsworth for a consultation. If you are also facing a divorce case due to domestic violence, we can assist with that aspect, as well.
Texas offers three kinds of protective orders.
A temporary ex parte order is a court order that will provide immediate protection from the abuser to you and your family. Ex parte means you don’t have to have the other party, that is, the abuser, in court to get your order. To get this order, you have to persuade the judge that the abuser represents a clear and present danger of violence against you or a member of your family. You convince the judge with the information you include in your application for the order.
A temporary ex parte order lasts for the period specified in the order, usually 20 days or less. You can get it extended for additional 20-day periods if you ask, or the judge acts independently – generally because they know the abuser has not yet received notice.
A final or permanent protective order is effective for the time listed in the order, up to a maximum of two years. If no time is specified, the order expires on its second anniversary. However, the judge can issue the order for more than two years if:
No matter how long your order lasts, the abuser can move for discontinuation of the order after one year. If the order lasts for more than two years, the abuser can move again. The judge must hold a hearing to decide whether there is a “continuing need for the order.” The judge can dismiss the order, but the mere fact that the abuser hasn’t violated it is insufficient evidence for discontinuation.
There might be an automatic extension if the abuser was in jail when the order was supposed to expire. If the sentence is more than five years, the order experience on the first anniversary of the abuser’s release. If the sentence was less than five years, the order will expire on the second anniversary of the release. In either case, you should request a copy of the new order with its new expiration date to make things easier for the police if anything happens.
Finally, there is a magistrate’s order of emergency protection; most people think of this as an emergency protective order. This order is issued by a criminal court when an abuser gets arrested for committing family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking. This time, you don’t have to be present for the court to issue the order. The court can issue the order on your request, your guardian’s request, or the request of a police officer or prosecutor, or even on the judge’s own initiative. If the crime underlying the order involved a deadly weapon, the judge must issue the order. The order is good for 31 to 61 days or 61-91 days where a deadly weapon was involved.
The order can be requested by and granted to:
As you can see, getting a protective order and getting it for the longest possible time can be challenging. It’s especially tough when you are already shaken by the discovery that you are in danger, and so are your children or other family members. Let the family law attorneys at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth help you get your order and your peace of mind. Contact us online or call 817-900-8330 today for the help you need!