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.
Ex parte is a Latin term meaning “from one side.” These orders are called ex parte because you may receive them without prior notice to the abuser or his/her presence in the courtroom. When you file your petition for a protection order, a judge can issue an ex parte order if s/he has reason to 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 should schedule a hearing within 14 days where the abuser can be present and you will have to prove that the order should be issued.2) 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” in which the abuser would appear in court and present evidence (“show cause”) as to why the order should be dismissed – and you would present evidence why you should keep the order.
If the abuser wants to request a show-cause hearing, s/he has to return the form to the clerk within 10 business days of receiving the order and the hearing would be scheduled within 30 days. The judge can also order that a hearing be held based on your request or based on the judge’s own decision to hold a hearing. The temporary ex parte order would be considered to be a final order if the respondent has been properly served with the temporary ex parte order and any of the following happen:
- the abuser does not request a show-cause hearing and you do not request one nor does the judge decide to order one;
- a hearing is held, and the abuser does not appear at the hearing;
- a hearing is held, and the abuser appears but cannot prove that the order should be dismissed. Note: If the respondent appears at the hearing and shows “good cause” why your order should not remain in effect, the judge can end your temporary order.3
A final protection order will last for one year but it can be renewed.4 See Can I extend 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)