What types of family violence protective order are available? How long do they last?
In Georgia, there are two types of family violence protective orders.
A temporary ex parte order is designed to protect you from the abuser until the court holds a hearing. A hearing is mandatory before you can receive a long-term family violence protective order. You can receive a temporary ex parte order without a court hearing and without the abuser’s prior knowledge.
In order to receive a temporary ex parte order, you must file a petition with the court.1 After you file your petition, a judge may grant a temporary order only if s/he believes that you are in immediate danger. In your petition, it is important to tell the judge, in detail, of the occurrence of family violence in the past so that the judge can take that into account when s/he makes a decision.2 Temporary orders last up to 30 days, or until your court hearing if it is being heard in another county in the same circuit. Orders can be extended beyond 30 days upon agreement by both parties.3
A family violence protective order can be issued after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story and present evidence to the judge. Family violence protective orders last up to one year, but, you can file a motion to ask the judge to turn your temporary order into an order that lasts for up to three years or a permanent order, with no expiration date.4
1 O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3(a)
2 O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3(b)
3 O.C.G.A. § 19-13-3(c)
4 O.C.G.A. § 19-13-4(c)