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Legal Information: North Dakota

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 28, 2023

What kinds of sexual assault restraining orders are there and how long do they last?

There are two types of sexual assault restraining orders:

Temporary (ex parte) sexual assault restraining orders: The judge can issue a temporary sexual assault restraining order ex parte, which means the abuser does not have to be present in court or have notice of the hearing. If the judge finds that your petition shows reasonable grounds to believe the abuser committed a sexual assault, the judge can issue the temporary sexual assault restraining order.1 A temporary sexual assault restraining order usually lasts for up to 14 days until the hearing on a longer-term sexual assault restraining order. The temporary order can be issued for longer than 14 days if you show the judge a good reason (good cause) for why the hearing cannot happen in fourteen days.2

Sexual assault restraining orders: A sexual assault restraining order will only be granted after the abuser has been notified of the time, date, and place of the court hearing and has a chance to participate in the court hearing.3 Both you and the abuser will have an opportunity to present evidence, testimony, witnesses, etc. – you might want to get a lawyer for this hearing, especially if you think the abuser might have one. Go to our ND Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

If after the hearing, the judge believes that the abuser committed the sexual assault, the judge may grant a sexual assault restraining order. A sexual assault restraining order can last for up to two years.4

1 N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-01.2(4)
2 N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-01.2(6)(c)
3 N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-01.2(6)(b)
4 N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-01.2(7)