Step 4: The hearing for a final protection order
There may or may not be a hearing. If the judge does not give you an ex parte order, the judge is supposed to schedule a hearing within 14 days where you can better prove your case.1 If the judge does grant you an ex parte order, there will only be a hearing if:
- the abuser requests a “show-cause hearing” within 10 business days of being served with the ex parte order;
- you request one; or
- the judge decides on his/her own to hold a hearing.2
The hearing will immediately be scheduled and will take place within 30 days.2 You must go to the hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, your order will expire and you will have to start the process over again. At this show-cause hearing, the judge could decide to instead issue a harassment protection order or a sexual assault 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
If there is a hearing, you must prove that the abuser has committed an act of domestic abuse (as defined by the law) against you or your children. You must also convince a judge that you need protection and the specific things you asked for in the order.
Note: If at this hearing, the judge finds that there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the statements in your petition were false and that the protection order was sought in bad faith, the judge could order you to pay the court fees.4
See the At the Hearing section under for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.
1 NE R.S. § 42-925(3)
2 NE R.S. § 42-925(1)
3 NE R.S. § 42-925(3), (7)
4 NE R.S. § 42-924.01