What types of orders of protection are there? How long do they last?
There are two types of orders of protection, a temporary order and a permanent order of protection.
A temporary order of protection can be given to you by a judge if s/he believes it is necessary to protect you or your minor children from abuse. The order can be issued ex parte (without the abuser being notified beforehand or being present in court) if the judge believes that notifying the abuser ahead of time would further endanger the safety and welfare of you and/or minor child/ren. However, if the abuser is already represented by an attorney, then the attorney may need to be notified beforehand.1 After you file your petition, the judge may ask you some questions at an ex parte hearing. (However, if you are not in court but rather your attorney is filing the papers for you, the judge can still issued the temporary order.) The order will last for up to 10 days until the case is set down for a “show cause hearing.”2 The temporary order must first be served (given) to the abuser before it takes effect.
After the abuser is served, s/he has the opportunity to appear at the “show cause hearing” where both you and the abuser will have an opportunity to tell your own sides of the story to a judge. The court can postpone the hearing for a reasonable period of time if the abuser wants to get an attorney. During the continuance, the judge can modify (change) the temporary order or continue it as-is (or, in some cases, even make it permanent). At the hearing, you will have to prove your allegations in the petition to be granted a permanent order of protection by the judge or you and the abuser may agree to have a “consent agreement” issued in which the abuser agrees to not abuse you and/or your children. The order can last for a period of time determined by the judge.2
1 MR 2.1.3(A)(1),(3); 7 Guam Code § 40104(a),(b)
2 MR 2.1.3(A)(4),(B)(4),(5)