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Legal Information: Nebraska

Nebraska Restraining Orders

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Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence Protection Orders

Basic information

What is the legal definition of abuse in Nebraska?

This section defines abuse for the purposes of getting a domestic violence protection order. The following acts are considered abuse, also known as domestic violence, when they occur between family or household members:

  • causing or attempting to cause physical injury, with or without a weapon (“dangerous instrument”);
  • placing someone in fear of physical injury by making a “credible threat,” which means:
    • a verbal or written threat, including through email, text, etc.;
    • a threat that is implied through a pattern of conduct or a combination of verbal, written, or electronic statements/conduct that causes you to reasonably fear for your safety or your family’s safety; and
  • forcing unwanted sexual contact or sexual penetration, as defined by law.1

Note: You do not have to prove that the abuser had the intention to actually act on the threat, just that s/he seemed to have the ability to do so. If the abuser makes the threat while s/he is in jail, it can still be seen as a “credible threat.”2

1 NE R.S. § 42-903(1)
2 NE R.S. § 42-903(1)(b)

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

In Nebraska, there are ex parte temporary protection orders and final protection orders.

A judge can give you an ex parte temporary order without prior notice to the abuser or his/her presence in the courtroom. To get this order, the judge must believe that you are in immediate danger of being abused based on your affidavit or your statements. If an ex parte order is issued, it will be served upon the abuser along with a form for the abuser to request a “show-cause hearing.” During the hearing, the abuser would appear in court and present evidence (“show cause”) as to why the order should be dismissed and you would present evidence about why you should keep the order. The abuser has 10 business days to return the request for the show-cause hearing.If the judge does not give you an ex parte order, the judge could schedule a hearing within 14 days where both you and the abuser can be present. At that hearing, you would present evidence to the judge to try to prove why an order should be issued.2

If the abuser requests a show-cause hearing, it will be scheduled within 30 days. The judge can also decide on his/her own to have a hearing or you can request it. At that hearing, the judge would decide whether to issue a final order.

If the abuser does not request a show-cause hearing, and the judge doesn’t decide to hold one on his/her own, then your temporary order would be considered a final order.3 A final protection order will last for one year but it can be renewed each year.4 See Can I renew my protection order? for more information.

1 NE R.S. § 42-925(1)
2 NE R.S. § 42-925(3)
3 NE R.S. § 42-925(2)​
4 NE R.S. §§ 42-925(5); 42-924(3)

What protections can I get in a protection order?

An ex parte temporary protection order or a final protection order can do the following:

  • order the abuser to:
    • not restrain you or restrict your freedom (liberty);
    • not threaten, assault, bother, attack, or otherwise disturb you;
    • not contact you in any way;
    • be removed (excluded) from your home regardless of who owns the home;
    • stay away from any specific place;
    • not have or buy a firearm;
    • not be in contact with, hurt, or kill any household pet owned or held by you, the abuser, or any family or household member who lives with either of you; and
  • give you:
    • temporary custody of any minor children for up to 90 days;
    • sole possession of any household pet that is owned or held by you, the abuser, or any family or household member who lives with either of you; and
    • anything else that the judge believes is necessary for your safety.1

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

1 NE R.S. §§ 42-924(1); 42-925(1)

In which court do I file for a protection order?

You must file the petition in district court but the case may take place in either district court or in county court.1 In the petition, you will have to state your preference for whether you want the case to be heard by a county court judge or by a district court judge.2 If you are unsure of which court to request, you might want to ask an attorney in your county for advice. For courthouse locations in your area, see NE Courthouse Locations. To find legal organizations, go to NE Finding a Lawyer.

1 NE R.S. § 42-924(2)
2 NE R.S. § 25-2740(2)

If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?

When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.

There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:

  1. The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
  2. One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
  3. If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.

However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.

You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.

Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.

Who can get a domestic violence protection order

Am I eligible for a domestic violence protection order?

You may be eligible to file for a domestic violence protection order if you have been the victim of abuse by a family or household member, which includes:

  • spouses or former spouses;
  • children;
  • people who live/lived together;
  • people who have a child in common whether or not they have been married or have lived together at any time;
  • people related by blood or marriage; and
  • people who are/were involved in a dating relationship with each other.1

If you do not qualify for a domestic violence protection order, you may qualify for a harassment protection order or a sexual assault protection order.

1 NE R.S. § 42-903(3)

Can I get a protection order against a same-sex partner?

In Nebraska, you may apply for a domestic violence protection order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible for a domestic violence protection order?  You must also be the victim of an act of abuse, which is explained here What is the legal definition of abuse in Nebraska?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

How much does it cost to get a protection order?

There is no fee to file for or serve a protection order.

The only way you might possibly be ordered to pay fees or costs is if the judge determines that the statements in the petition were false and that you filed the protection order in “bad faith.”

Note: At the final hearing, a judge may order the abuser to pay the costs related to filing or serving your protection order.1

1 NE R.S. § 42-924.01

Do I need an attorney to get a protection order?

You do not need an attorney to file for a protection order, but it is generally better to have one, especially if there will be a hearing or if the abuser is represented by one. To find a lawyer or legal aid program in your area, please visit our NE Finding a Lawyer page. Often, domestic violence organizations can help you through the process if you do not have an attorney. To find a domestic violence organization, go to our NE Advocates and Shelters page.

Steps for getting a domestic violence protection order

Step 1: Go to court and file a petition.

Go to the district court to file your petition.1 You can find a court near you by going to our NE Courthouse Locations page. You can also find links to the forms online by going to our NE Download Court Forms page. The forms will ask you to include all relevant information, including, but not limited to:

  • a description of the most recent incident;
  • a description of the most severe incident; and
  • the dates or approximate dates of such incidents.2

Carefully fill out the forms. Write about the incidents of violence or abuse, using descriptive language that fits your situation, such as slapping, hitting, grabbing, choking, threatening, etc. Be specific. Include details and dates, if possible. If your petition is based on threats rather than a physical incident, write about how the threats affected you, why they made you fearful, and how the fear has affected your life.

A domestic violence organization may be able to help you fill out the forms. See our NE Advocates and Shelters page for the location of an organization near you.

Note: Do not sign the petition until you have shown it to a clerk since it needs to be notarized or signed in the presence of court personnel.3

1 NE R.S. § 42-924(2)
2 NE R.S. § 42-924.02(2)
3 See Petition and Affidavit to Obtain Domestic Violence Protection Order

Step 2: A judge will review your petition and may issue an ex parte order.

After you finish filling out your petition, bring it to the court clerk. The clerk will forward it to a judge. The judge may ask you questions as s/he reviews your petition and decides whether or not to issue you an ex parte order. The judge must believe that you are in immediate danger of being abused based on your affidavit or your statements.1 If the judge does not give you an ex parte order, the judge could schedule a hearing within 14 days where you and the abuser can be present and you will have to prove that the order should be issued.2

1 NE R.S. § 42-925(1)
2 NE R.S. § 42-925(3)

Step 3: Service of process

If the judge issues you an ex parte order, it will be served on the abuser along with a form for the abuser to request a “show-cause hearing.” Note: If the abuser wants to request a show-cause hearing to object to the order being issued, s/he has to return this form to the clerk within ten business days of receiving the order and the hearing would be scheduled within 30 days.1

The courts will forward copies of your papers to law enforcement, who will then try to serve the papers on the abuser.2 The sheriff will go to the abuser’s home, work, or other place s/he can be found to hand him/her the papers. If you believe that serving the respondent at his/her work or in some other way would put you in danger, you can include this information in the forms that you fill out and request that the abuser not be served at that location. The order is not valid until law enforcement has served the respondent.

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?

1 NE R.S. § 42-925(1)
2 NE R.S. § 42-926(1)

Step 4: The hearing for a final protection order

Unlike most other states where a hearing is automatically set, under Nebraska law, there may or may not be a hearing scheduled for a final order. A hearing could be scheduled if:

  1. the judge does not give you an ex parte order;1 or
  2. the judge does grant you an ex parte order, and any of the following are true:
  • the abuser requests a “show-cause hearing” within 10 business days of being served with the ex parte order;
  • you request a hearing; or
  • the judge decides on his/her own to hold a hearing.2

If there is a hearing, you must attend and you’ll have to prove that the abuser has committed an act of domestic abuse against you or your child.

Note: At the hearing, the judge could decide to issue a harassment protection order or a sexual assault protection order instead of a domestic abuse protection order if the judge believes one of those orders is more appropriate or if you request it. Then, the abuser would have to “show cause” why the judge should not issue one of those orders.3

It may be very helpful to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing. Go to our NE Finding a Lawyer page for resources. If you are going to be representing yourself, see the At the Hearing section in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page for ways you can show the judge that you were abused.

1 NE R.S. § 42-925(3)
2 NE R.S. § 42-925(1)
3 NE R.S. § 42-925(3), (7)​

After the hearing

Can the abuser have a gun?

Once you get a protection order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession.  There are a few places where you can find this information:

  • first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in Nebraska have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
  • second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
  • third you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.

You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

There are several things that you may want to consider doing upon leaving the courthouse.  You will have to evaluate each one and see if it is safe for your situation.  You may want to:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk how to correct the order before you leave.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • Make several copies of the order as soon as possible and leave copies of the order at your workplace, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.

For more ways to stay safe, go to our Safety Planning page.

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

If the abuser violates the order, you can call the police or sheriff, even if you think it is a minor violation. It can be a Class I misdemeanor to violate a protection order. If the abuser has a prior conviction for violating any protection order, then violating your order can be a Class IV felony.1

Nebraska law requires that an arrest be made if “probable cause” exists that the respondent violated a domestic abuse protection order.2 If you feel that law enforcement officers did not respond according to Nebraska law, you could contact an attorney to see what legal actions, if any, can be taken. Go to our NE Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

If the police become involved, it is generally a good idea to write down the names of the responding officers and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case. Ideally, a police report should be filled out even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may be useful in the future.

For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.

1 NE R.S. § 42-924(4)
2 NE R.S. § 42-928

Can I renew my protection order?

To request a renewal of your order, you must file a petition and affidavit to renew the protection order within the 45 days before your order is set to expire.1 

Then, the process would be the same as when you filed your original petition - the judge may issue an ex parte order and the abuser may request a hearing to object to the renewal. The judge will consider the likelihood of harm to you over the next year when deciding whether to renew the order. You do not have to prove that there was further abuse or a violation of the protection order.2

If the judge agrees to renew the order, it would become effective from the day after your current order expires and last for one year. You can apply to renew the order each year.1

1 NE R.S. § 42-924(3)(b)(i), (3)(b)(iii)
2 Garrison v. Otto, 311 Neb. 94 (2022)

What happens if I move?

Federal law provides what is called “full faith and credit,” which means that once you have a protection order, it is valid throughout the United States, including U.S. territories and tribal lands.

Different states have different rules for enforcing out-of-state orders. You can find out about your new state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program, the clerk of courts, or the prosecutor in your new area.

You may want to call the court where you originally received the order to tell them your new address so that they can contact you if necessary - be sure to let them know if the address is confidential and ask how to make sure it cannot be accessed by the respondent.

To read more about this, please visit our Moving to Another State with a Protection Order page.

If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?

According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:

  • the petition you file;
  • the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
  • the registration of an order in a different state.1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)

Sexual Assault Protection Orders

Basic info and definitions

What is the legal definition of a sexual assault offense?

For the purpose of getting a sexual assault protection order, a “sexual assault offense” includes:

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(14)

What happens when I apply for a sexual assault protection order?

When you apply for a sexual assault protection order, one of the following things may happen:

  1. The judge will issue a temporary ex parte protection order, without notifying the abuser beforehand. The judge must believe that you would suffer severe harm, loss, or damage before there could be a hearing with both you and the abuser. The abuser may then ask for a show-cause hearing;
  2. The judge will deny the ex parte order. Then, the judge might schedule a hearing within 14 days at which point the respondent can “show cause” why an order should not be issued and you can prove why it should be issued. If the judge thinks you definitely don’t qualify, however, the judge may deny the ex parte order without scheduling the show cause hearing; or
  3. The judge will decide that it’s more appropriate to give you a harassment protection order or a domestic abuse protection order. Then, the judge would hold a hearing where the abuser would have to “show cause” why the judge should not issue one of those orders. 1

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(7), (8)

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

When you apply for an order, the judge can issue an ex parte temporary order without prior notice to the abuser. The judge must believe that irreversible (irreparable) harm, loss, or damage will happen if you had to first serve the abuser and wait for a hearing.1 Then, the abuser will be served with the order and s/he will have ten days to request a show cause hearing if s/he wants to object to the order.2 If the abuser requests the hearing, it will be scheduled within 30 days. Therefore, the ex parte order could last for up to 40 days.

However, if the abuser does not request a hearing, then the sexual assault protection order that the judge issued ex parte will last for one year.1

It may be possible to renew the order every year.3 See Can I renew my protection order? for more information.

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(7)
2 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(9)(c)(i)
3 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(12)

What protections can I get in a sexual assault protection order?

In an ex parte or final sexual assault protection order, the judge can order the abuser not to:

  • place any limits on you or your freedom;
  • harass, threaten, assault, bother (molest), attack, or otherwise disturb your peace; and
  • contact you in any way.1

Note: Unlike a domestic abuse protection order, a sexual assault protection order cannot give you custody of your children.2

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(1)
2 See Nebraska Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions page

If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?

When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.

There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:

  1. The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
  2. One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
  3. If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.

However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.

You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.

Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.

Getting the order

Who can get a sexual assault protection order?

Victims of a sexual assault offense that was committed by anyone can file for a sexual assault protection order. You do not have to have a specific relationship with the abuser to qualify for an order.1

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(1)

What are the steps involved with getting a sexual assault protection order?

How much does a sexual assault protection order cost?

There are no fees or costs to get a sexual assault protection order. The only way you might possibly be ordered to pay fees or costs is if the judge determines that the statements in the petition were false and that you filed the protection order in “bad faith.”

Note: At the final hearing, a judge may order the abuser to pay the costs related to filing or serving your protection order.1

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(5)(a), (5)(b)

What if the abuser violates the order?

If the abuser violates a sexual assault protection order, you can call the police or sheriff, even if you think it is a minor violation. It can be a Class I misdemeanor to purposefully (knowingly) violate a protection order. If the abuser has a prior conviction for violating any protection order, then violating your order can be a Class IV felony.1

You can call 911 immediately and the police may arrest the abuser if s/he has probable cause to believe the abuser violated the order.2

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(4)
2 NE R.S. § 28-311.11(10)

Can I renew my protection order?

To request a renewal of your order, you must file a petition and affidavit to renew the protection order within the 45 days before your order is set to expire.1

Then, the process would be the same as when you filed your original petition - the judge may issue an ex parte order and the abuser may request a hearing to object to the renewal. The judge will consider the likelihood of harm to you over the next year when deciding whether to renew the order. You do not have to prove that there was further abuse or a violation of the protection order.2

If the judge agrees to renew the order, it would last for one year from the day after your current order expires.1 

1 NE R.S. § 28–311.11(12)(a), (12)(c)
2 See Garrison v. Otto, 311 Neb. 94 (2022)

Harassment Protection Orders

Basic information and definitions

What is the legal definition of harassment in Nebraska?

For the purpose of getting a harassment protection order, the state of Nebraska defines “harassment” as intentionally doing multiple acts (a “course of conduct”) that seriously terrify, threaten, or intimidate you. There must also be no lawful (legitimate) reason for doing those acts.1

Some examples of this could be following, stalking, repeatedly contacting, or physically holding (restraining/detaining) you.1

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.02(2)(a)

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

When you apply for an order, the judge can issue an ex parte temporary order without prior notice to the abuser. The judge must believe that irreversible (irreparable) harm, loss, or damage will happen if you had to first serve the abuser and wait for a hearing. Then, the abuser will be served with the order and s/he has ten days to request a show cause hearing if s/he wants to object to the order. If the abuser requests the hearing, it will be scheduled within 30 days. Therefore, the ex parte order could last for up to 40 days.

However, if the abuser does not request a hearing, then the harassment protection order that the judge issued ex parte will last for one year.1

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7)

What protections can I get in a harassment protection order?

In a harassment protection order, the judge can order the abuser not to:

  • place any limits on you or your freedom;
  • harass, threaten, assault, bother (molest), attack, or otherwise disturb your peace; and
  • contact you in any way.1

Note: Unlike a domestic abuse protection order, a harassment protection order cannot give you custody of your children.2

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(1)
2 See Nebraska Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions

What happens when I apply for a harassment protection order?

When you apply for a harassment protection order, one of the following things may happen:

  1. The judge will issue a temporary ex parte protection order, without notifying the other party beforehand. The judge must believe that you would suffer severe harm, loss, or damage before there could be a hearing with both you and the abuser. The abuser may then ask for a show-cause hearing;
  2. The judge will deny the ex parte order. Then, the judge might schedule a hearing within 14 days at which point the respondent can “show cause” why an order should not be issued and you can prove why it should be issued. Or if the judge thinks you definitely don’t qualify, the judge may deny the ex parte order without scheduling the show cause the hearing; or
  3. The judge will decide that it’s more appropriate to give you a harassment protection order or a domestic abuse protection order. Then, the judge would hold a hearing where the abuser would have to “show cause” why the judge should not issue one of those orders.

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7), (8); see Nebraska Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions.
2 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7)

If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?

When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.

There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:

  1. The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
  2. One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
  3. If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.

However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.

You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.

Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.

Getting a harassment protection order

Am I eligible to file for a harassment protection order?

Any person who has suffered harassment can apply to the court for a harassment protection order.1 It does not matter what your relationship is to the person who is harassing you.

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(1)

How much does a harassment protection order cost?

There are no fees or costs to get a harassment protection order. The only way you might possibly be ordered to pay fees or costs is if the judge determines that the statements in the petition were false and that you filed the protection order in “bad faith.”1

Note: At the final hearing, a judge may order the abuser to pay the costs related to filing or serving your protection order.2

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(5)(a)
2 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(5)(b)

What are the steps for getting a harassment protection order?

Do I have to share my address when filling out the court forms?

If you are afraid to include your address on the court forms since the abuser will see it, you may request that your address be kept confidential.1 

If you are worried about the harasser finding out your address, you may also want to learn more about the Nebraska Office of the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality Program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking

1 See Nebraska Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions

Do I need to bring anything to court?

On the initial court date, when filing for your order, you may need to bring photo identification in order to show the person notarizing your signature.

On the return court date, if there is a show-cause hearing, it is often best to get a lawyer to represent you in a hearing. You and your lawyer will discuss what you should bring with you on the court date. Go to our NE Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals. If you are going to be representing yourself, you may want to bring with you any proof of harassment, such as:

  • photographs of injuries;
  • copies of any threatening notes, emails, phone, or text messages printed out; and
  • any witnesses who saw or heard the harassment.1

Our At the Hearing page offers more tips and information on what to expect at a hearing and how to prepare yourself beforehand.

1 See Nebraska Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions

How does the order get served upon the respondent?

The sheriff’s office in the county where the harasser lives will be responsible for serving the harassment protection order. The court clerk will provide a copy of the order to the appropriate sheriff’s office. After service is completed, the sheriff must file proof of service with the court clerk within 14 days of the date that the harassment protection order was issued.1

Note: Usually, the sheriff will go to the harasser’s home, work, or other place s/he can be found to serve the papers. If, for example, you believe that serving the respondent at work will endanger you, you can include this information in the forms that you fill out and request that the harasser not be served at work.

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(9)

After the hearing

Can a harassment protection order be renewed?

Unlike a domestic violence protection order and a sexual assault protection order, a harassment protection order cannot be renewed.1

1 See generally NE ST § 28-311.09; Nebraska Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions

What happens if the abuser violates the order?

If the abuser violates the order, you can call the police and s/he could be arrested. Violation of a harassment order is considered a Class II misdemeanor.1

1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(4), (10)

If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?

According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:

  • the petition you file;
  • the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
  • the registration of an order in a different state.1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)

Moving to Another State with a Nebraska Protection Order

General rules

Can I get my protection order from Nebraska enforced in another state?

If you have a valid Nebraska protection order that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is a federal law, says that all valid protection orders granted in the United States receive “full faith and credit” in all state and tribal courts within the U.S., including U.S. territories. In other words, each state must enforce out-of-state protection orders in the same way it enforces its own orders. If an abuser violates your out-of-state protection order, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. 

 

How do I know if my protection order is good under federal law?

A protection order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, or sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you;1
  • The judge that gave the order had power (jurisdiction) over the people and case; in other words, the judge had the authority to hear the case; and
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a), (b)

I have an ex parte or temporary protection order.  Can it be enforced in another state?

An ex parte temporary order can be enforced in other states as long as it meets the requirements listed in How do I know if my protection order is good under federal law?1

Note: The state where you are going generally cannot extend your ex parte temporary order or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone, if that is an option offered by the court. However, you may be able to reapply for one in the new state that you are moving to if you meet the requirements for getting a protective order in that state – but, if you apply for one in a new state, the abuser would know what state you are living in, which may put you in danger.

Getting your Nebraska protection order enforced in another state

How do I get my protection order enforced in another state? 

You do not have to take any special steps to get your protection order enforced in another state. Many states have a process to register or file an out-of-state order to make it easier to enforce if the abuser breaks the order. However, you can still get a valid protection order enforced in another state even if you do not register or file it.1 For your safety, always keep a copy of your protection order with you.

It can help to know the rules in any state where you will live or visit. For example, in some states, you may need a certified copy of your out-of-state protection order. Knowing the rules in your new state may help you get the police or courts to enforce your order quickly.

A domestic violence organization can tell you how this works in your area. To find one, visit our Advocates and Shelters page and choose your new state in the drop-down menu.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

Do I need a special copy of my protection order to it enforced?

In some states, you will need a certified copy of your protection order. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. 

When the judge issues you an ex parte or final protection order, the clerk of the court will give you two certified copies of the order for free.1

Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.

1 NE R.S. § 42-926(1)

Can I get someone to help me?  Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to get your protection order enforced in another state.  However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. 

A domestic violence advocate can tell you what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your protection order. S/he may also be able to help you through the process if you decide to register it. To find a domestic violence advocate or lawyer in the state to which you are moving, go to the Places that Help page and select that state from the drop-down menu.

 

Do I need to tell the court in Nebraska if I move?

It is important for the court to have an up-to-date address for you in order to communicate with you if the abuser asks the court to dismiss the order or files to change (modify) it in any way. If the abuser does not know your new address, you can ask the court clerk to make sure that it is kept confidential. It should be kept in a confidential part of your file where the public will not have access to it. However, your new address could possibly be released to court officials in your new state or law enforcement officials in either Nebraska or your new state. If you feel nervous about giving your address to the court, you could file for Nebraska’s Address Confidentiality Program, which would allow you to have mail forwarded to your new address through the Secretary of State.1

1 NE ST § 42-1204(1)

 

Enforcing custody provisions in another state

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Can I take my kids out of the state?

Whether you can take your kids out of state may depend on what exactly your protection order says about custody and visitation. You may have to ask the judge for permission before you leave the state with your kids. If the abuser has the right to visit with your children, then you may have to get the order changed. You may have to convince the judge that there is a fair and realistic alternative to the current visitation schedule. To read more about custody laws, go to our NE Custody page.

If you are unsure whether or not you can take your kids out of the state, talk to a lawyer who understands domestic violence and custody laws. You can find contact information for legal assistance in Idaho on our NE Finding a Lawyer page.

 

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will another state enforce this custody order?

If your protection order includes custody, visitation, and child support, these parts of the order can be enforced in any state. Law enforcement and courts must enforce your temporary custody order as long as it meets certain federal law standards.1

To have someone read your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in the new state. To find a lawyer, go to Finding a Lawyer and choose the state from the drop-down menu.

1 18 USC § 2266

Enforcing an Out-of-State Order in Nebraska

General rules for out-of-state orders in Nebraska

Can I get my protection order enforced in Nebraska? What are the requirements?

Your protection order can be enforced in Nebraska as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a), (b)

 

 

 

Can I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Nebraska?

Generally, only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will likely have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to ask to attend the court hearing by telephone or video rather than in person so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser lives. Find out if this is possible by calling the clerk of the court that issued your order. To learn more about changing your order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued. To get the information for the court that issued your order, go to Courthouse Locations and choose the state from the drop-down menu.

If your order expires while you are living in Nebraska, you may be able to get a new protection order in Nebraska. However, this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Nebraska. To find out how to get a protection order in Nebraska, visit our NE Restraining Orders page.

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in Nebraska?

As long as the child custody part of your order meets the standards of certain federal laws, Idaho can enforce it.1

To have someone read your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area, go to our NE Finding a Lawyer page.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

Registering your out-of-state order in Nebraska

What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

The state that issued your protection order may already have entered your order into the NCIC when you got the order. If not, your order could be entered into the NCIC if you register it in Nebraska. All law enforcement officials have access to the NCIC database, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

How do I register my protection order in Nebraska?

To register your protection order in Nebraska, you need to present a certified copy of your order either to the Nebraska State Patrol or to the county or district court clerk.1  It’s a good idea to bring your photo ID with you when you register your order. You might also be able to fax your copy to the State Patrol to get it registered. Call the State Patrol headquarters at (402) 471-4545 to find out if this is possible in your area.

There is no fee to register your protection order.2  When your order is registered, the clerk or officer will give you a certified copy of your registered order.3

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Nebraska for assistance.  You can find contact information for organizations in your area on our NE Advocates and Shelters page.

1 NE ST § 42-936(a)(1), (a)(2)
2 NE ST § 42-936(f)
3 NE ST § 42-936(b)

Do I have to register my protection order in Nebraska in order to get it enforced?

You do not need to register a protective order from another state to get it enforced.1 However, if you register your order in Nebraska, this may help the local law enforcement officers more easily check that your order is valid.

1 NE ST § 42-935(d)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1 However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to. It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living. We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Planning page. You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our NE Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)

What if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

According to federal and state laws, you do not need to register your protection order to get it enforced in Idaho. However, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be harder for a law enforcement officer to check if your order is valid. So, it could take longer to get your order enforced.

If you are unsure if registering your order in Nebraska is right for you, you may want to talk with a domestic violence advocate. An advocate can help you decide what is safest for you. You can find domestic violence advocates in Nebraska on our NE Advocates and Shelters page.

 

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

There is no cost for registering your protection order in Nebraska.1

1 NE ST § 42-936(b)