What types of protective orders are there? How long do they last?
There are three types of protective orders:
Emergency Temporary Restraining Orders: If you are in need of emergency protection outside of regular court hours, the court may grant you an emergency temporary restraining order if there is an “immediate and present danger of abuse.” The judge must consider any and all past history of abuse, or threats of abuse, in determining whether or not there is an immediate and present danger of abuse. (There is no requirement that the abuse itself be recent, immediate, or present.) If you are issued this order, it will only be good until the close of the next business day that the court is open. For the protection to remain in effect, you must go to court before the close of the next business day to request a temporary restraining order and/or a protective order.1
Temporary Restraining Orders: When you go to court to file for a long-term protective order, you can also ask for a temporary restraining order (TRO). The court may issue you a TRO during an ex parte hearing without the abuser present if there is an “immediate and present danger of abuse.” The judge must consider any and all past history of abuse, or threats of abuse, in determining whether or not there is an immediate and present danger of abuse. (There is no requirement that the abuse itself be recent, immediate, or present.) As soon as a TRO is issued, the abuser will be notified that you have an order against him/her. The court will give you a date, usually within 21 days, for a full court hearing where you and the abuser each have a chance to be present and tell your sides of the story.2
Long-term Protective Orders: A long-term protective order can be issued only after a court hearing where you and the abuser both have the opportunity to tell your sides of the story to a judge. You must attend that hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, your TRO may expire and you will have to start the process over. A long-term order will last for up to 18 months, unless otherwise stated.3 However, the part of the order that says the abuser should not ”abuse, harass, or interfere with the petitioner or his/her employment; should not go near the residence or place of employment of the petitioner, the minor children, or any person on whose behalf a the petition was filed” can last for an indefinite period of time.4 Orders may also be extended. See How do I change, extend, or cancel my protective order?
1 LA R.S. 46:2135(A),(F)
2 LA R.S. 46:2135(A)
3 LA R.S. 46:2136(F)(1)
4 LA R.S. 46:2136(F)(2)(a); see also LA R.S. 46:2135(A)(1)