Legal Information: Nebraska

Restraining Orders

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November 10, 2022

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 (domestic violence) when they occur between family or household members:

  • causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, with or without a “dangerous instrument” (i.e., a weapon, heavy object, etc.);
  • placing someone in fear of bodily injury by “credible threat,” which means:
    • a verbal or written threat (including via 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 fear for your safety or your family’s safety; (Note: you do not have to prove that the harasser had the intention to actually act on the threat, just that s/he seemed to have the ability to do so if s/he chose to.  If the harasser makes the threat while s/he is in jail, that does not matter – you can still believe that s/he has the ability to carry out the threat); or
  • forcing unwanted sexual contact or sexual penetration, as defined by the law.1

Family or household members include:

  • spouses or former spouses,
  • children,
  • people who are presently living together or who have lived together in the past,
  • 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 presently involved in a dating relationship with each other or who have been involved in a dating relationship with each other in the past.2

1 NE R.S. § 42-903(1)
2 NE R.S. § 42-903(3)

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