En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: Nebraska

UPDATED September 11, 2014

Harassment Protection Orders

Print this page
View All

A harassment protection order is an official court order designed to protect any victim of harassment.  If you do not qualify for a domestic violence protection order, you may be able to get a harassment protection order.

Basic information

back to topWhat is the legal definition of harassment in Nebraska?

For the purposes of getting a harassment protection order, the state of Nebraska defines harassment as when someone intentionally does multiple things to seriously terrify, threaten, or intimidate you for no reason.  Some examples of this could be following, stalking, repeatedly contacting, or physically holding (restraining or detaining) you.*

* NE R.S. § 28-311.02(2)(a)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat is a harassment protection order? How can the order help me?

A harassment protection order is an official court order designed to protect ANY victim of harassment.  A judge can issue a harassment protection order to prevent someone from bothering, harassing, threatening, assaulting, molesting or attacking you, trying to control you (or your rights), or communicating with you in any way (i.e. calling, emailing, texting, etc.).*

Note: Unlike a domestic abuse protection order, a harassment protection order cannot give you custody of your children.**

* NE R.S. § 28-311.09(1)
** See NE Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions brochure.

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topWhat happens when I apply for a harassment protection order?

When you apply for a harassment protection order, there are three things that may happen:

  1. The judge may sign the protection order “ex parte” which means without a prior hearing and before the other party receives notice. Ex parte orders are typically granted if the judge believes that you would suffer severe harm, loss, or damage before the case could be heard with you and the harasser present;
  2. The judge may decide not to give you an ex parte order and instead require you and the harasser to come to court for a hearing; or
  3. The judge may choose to deny the protection order without a hearing if your petition does not qualify for the requested order.*
If you get the ex parte order, the order is then served to the harasser and s/he has 5 days to request what is called a “show-cause hearing” to tell his/her side of the story and ask that the order be dismissed.  At this hearing, the harasser must prove to the judge why the order should not remain in effect and you will have to prove why you should keep the order.  If the harasser requests a show-cause hearing, the judge will schedule the hearing within 30 days and will notify you and the harasser of the court date.**

Whether the ex parte order was issued or not, the judge will use the hearing to determine if your order should continue or be dismissed.

* See NE Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions brochure.
** NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow long does a harassment protection order last?

How long the ex parte order lasts may depend on whether or not the harasser requests a show-cause hearing once s/he is served with the petition and the order, which is explained in What happens when I apply for a harassment protection order?  If the harasser requests the hearing, the judge will use the hearing to determine if the protection order will be canceled or if it will continue for one year.  If the harasser does not request a hearing within 5 days of being served with the protection order, the order will remain in effect for one year without having any further court hearings.*  In that case, you would not have to face the harasser in court.

If the harasser was properly served with the ex parte order and s/he does not appear in court for the hearing to contest (fight against) the order, the original service of the ex parte order is considered proper service and s/he does not have to be served again with the order after the hearing.**

* NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7)
** NE R.S. § 28-311.09(8)(a)

Did you find this information helpful?
WomensLaw.org thanks Robert A. Sanford, Legal Director at the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition, for his help with this section.

back to top