Legal Information: Montana

Restraining Orders

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December 20, 2023

What types of orders of protection are there? How long do they last?

In Montana, there are two types of orders of protection:

A temporary order of protection is a court order designed to provide you and your family members with immediate protection. A judge can issue it if you allege, and the judge believes, that you will be in danger of harm if the court does not issue a temporary order of protection immediately. It is effective for up to 20 days.1 The abuser does not get prior notice that you are requesting a temporary order of protection from the court. However, the abuser will be served with a copy of the order after it is granted. This copy will generally also include a notice of court hearing for a more permanent order, as described below. Note: If you meet the requirements for an order of protection, the length of time between the abusive incident and your application for an order of protection is irrelevant.2

A final order of protection can be granted only after a full court hearing where the abuser has an opportunity to appear and tell his/her side of the story. Generally this hearing will take place approximately 20 days after the temporary order is issued. However, the abuser may request an emergency hearing before the end of the 20-day period by filing an affidavit that demonstrates that s/he has an urgent need for the emergency hearing. An emergency hearing must then be set within three business days of the filing of this affidavit.3 A final order of protection, also called a “permanent order of protection,” can last for a specific period of time or remain in effect permanently.4

1 Mont. Code § 40-15-201(1), (2), (4)
2 Mont. Code § 40-15-102(7)
3 Mont. Code § 40-15-202(2)
4 Mont. Code § 40-15-204


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