Step 4: Hearing for a long-term domestic violence protective order
Since your ex parte order only lasts for 20 days, you must attend the full court hearing if you want continued protection. If the abuser doesn’t come to the hearing, the judge may decide to give you the protective order or reschedule the hearing. If the hearing is rescheduled, be sure to ask to have your ex parte 20-day order extended until the hearing date. At the hearing, you will have to prove that the abuser has committed an act of domestic violence as defined by the law.1
The judge will examine all of the evidence that is presented including your testimony, relevant documents and any witnesses that either you or the abuser bring to testify. For information about representing yourself in a protective order hearing, you can check out the Alaska State Courts website. You can also find general information about preparing for court on our Preparing Your Case page.
If the judge finds that the abuser has committed a crime involving domestic violence against you, s/he will grant you a final (also called “long-term”) protective order that lasts for 1 year. It is generally best to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing, especially if you think the abuser has one. If the abuser shows up with a lawyer and you don’t have one, you may be able to ask the judge for a continuance (to postpone the case) so that you can try to get a lawyer as well. You can find contact information for lawyers in your area on our AK Finding a Lawyer page.