WHAT IS A PROTECTION ORDER AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
A domestic violence protection order is a court order that requires an abuser to stay away from you, your home, your work, and possibly your children and their schools. It can also require the abuser to move out of a shared home and may give you temporary custody of any children. Long-term orders may also require the abuser to pay you support and give up any firearms.
You can apply for a domestic violence protection order against a spouse, significant other, an ex, or a close family member who has committed domestic violence on you or your children. It does not apply to adult siblings or cousins.
There are other kinds of protection orders for non-family members, distant family members, or for other kinds of abuse, such as stalking and harassment. The information here is only for domestic violence protection orders.
SHOULD I GET A PROTECTION ORDER AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Only you can know if this is the best thing to do. Getting a protection order may mean you need to think about where you will live, how you will pay bills, how to handle childcare, etc. A protection order alone does not necessarily guarantee your safety.
You may want to talk to a domestic violence advocate first about your options. An advocate can help you think about a safety plan so you are prepared before, during, and after a protection order is in place.
You can find a list of agencies that can assist you for free on the back of this brochure.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO GET A PROTECTION ORDER?
No. Lawyers are helpful, but you can get a protection order without one. Victims of domestic violence may contact our office to apply for legal representation for protection orders, divorce, and custody cases.
HOW LONG DOES A PROTECTION ORDER LAST?
When you apply, the judge can give you a temporary protection order (“TPO”) that lasts up to 45 days. This is done without notifying the other person first.
If you want a longer-term protection order, you can request an extended order in your initial application or at any point before the TPO expires. The judge will set a hearing where you and the adverse party will go to court and explain your sides. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to extend the order up to 2 years.
You can request a free lawyer and/or a domestic violence advocate to attend the extension hearing with you. Contact Legal Aid Center or the Self-Help Center for more information. If you do not show up to the hearing to extend the order, the judge will usually dissolve the order.
HOW DO I GET A PROTECTION ORDER?
There are two ways to get a protection order against domestic violence.
- If the suspect was arrested and is in custody for domestic violence, you can request an emergency temporary protection order by phone. Call SafeNest at 702-646-4981 as soon as possible after the arrest (available 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week).
- For all other cases, you can apply in person at the Family Court Self-Help Center/Protection Order office. The office is open M-F from 8-4, and is located at 601 North Pecos Rd. Staff can answer questions and provide you with free forms. You will be able to see a judge and get a decision the same day as long as you are ready to turn in your completed paperwork by 4:00 p.m.
You can also find the forms online at www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org/dv.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I GET MY ORDER?
The court will arrange for the Sheriff to serve the order on the adverse party as long as you can provide an address for them in Clark County. If the adverse party lives somewhere else (or if you do not know their address), you will be responsible for having a process server serve the papers.
The order is not enforceable until the adverse party is served. It is important to make sure the adverse party is served as quickly as possible.
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY ORDER?
Keep a copy of your protection order with you at all times. Give copies to your employer, your school, your landlord, and (if they are included in the order) your children’s school, daycare center, or babysitter.
WHAT IF THE ADVERSE PARTY VIOLATES THE ORDER?
Violating a protection order is a crime. Call 911 immediately. The police can arrest the adverse party and they can face criminal charges.
You can also file a voluntary police report at your local police station concerning the violation, and/or you can file for civil contempt at the Family Court Self-Help Center/Protection Order Office.
Keep a written record of any contact, harassment, or abuse by the adverse party, including the date and time of the incidents and the names of witnesses. Save voicemails, text messages, emails or any other evidence that shows a violation of the order. Get medical treatment for injuries right away and keep copies of the records.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MOVE?
Your protection order can be enforced in any state, territory, or Indian reservation in the United States. If you move out of Nevada, contact the police, sheriff, or other law enforcement agency in your new area. Give them a certified copy of your order, and register the order in the appropriate court of that state.
You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233/SAFE) to get referrals to a domestic violence in your new community.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES
3900 Meadows Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89107
702-877-0133 (main office)
Rape Crisis Center
Gender Justice Nevada
Family Law Self-Help Center/Protection Order Office
601 N. Pecos
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Monday – Friday 8am - 4pm
This publication provides only general information concerning your rights and is not a substitute for legal advice in your case.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-VAGX-0085 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusion and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.