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A protective order is a civil court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family members from an abuser. Abusers who violate certain parts of a protective order can be arrested.
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The purpose of a protective order is to prevent future assaults by your partner. The protective order will usually make it illegal for him to be near you, your children, your home, your workplace, and your children's school. Then you can call the police for help when he is where he is not supposed to be and the police can intervene before he assaults you or your children again.
A protective order may order your abuser to:
You can apply for a protective order if your abuser is one of the following:
A person who has a divorce pending is eligible for a protective order. The protective order must be filed in the court in which the divorce is pending. You may also be able to get a protective order against someone who has sexually assaulted you even if they are not a family or household member (like a co-worker or neighbor).
Nothing, a protective order is free. You cannot be charged a fee for filing, serving, or entering a protective order. The court may order that your abuser pay any attorney fees (if applicable), and all other fees, charges, or expenses incurred in connection with the protective order.
In Texas there are three types of Orders of Protection:
A Magistrate's Order of Emergency Protection (what most people call an Emergency Protective Order). These are called different things in different parts of the state. They are good for 31 to 61 days. If your partner has been arrested for a family violence assault, you must ask for this before he is released from jail.
A Temporary Ex Parte Order is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection from your abuser. In order to get a Permanent Protective Order, you need to have a full-court hearing with your abuser present. A Temporary Ex Parte Order will protect you from the time you file for the Permanent Protective Order until your full court hearing.
You may receive a Temporary Ex Parte Order without your abuser present. The court can issue a Temporary Ex Parte Order if it decides that the information given in your application for a protective order presents a clear and present danger of family violence to either you or a family member. A Temporary Ex Parte Order lasts for the period of time specified in the order, usually until the date of your full court hearing. In most places the court will schedule a date for a formal hearing no later than the 14th day after the date the application is filed
A Permanent (Or Final) Protective Order is a court order that is designed to stop violent and harassing behavior and to protect you and your family from the abuser. A Permanent Protective Order is effective for the time period specified in the order up to a maximum of 2 years. If there is no time period specified in the order, then it expires on the second anniversary of the date the order was issued.
If the respondent is still incarcerated on the date that the protective order is set to expire, then the expiration date is extended for one year from his date of release. For more information regarding Protective Orders, call the District Attorney's Office at 325-674-1296, or call the Noah Project at 325-676-7107.