What happens when I apply for a harassment protection order?
When you apply for a harassment protection order, there are four things that may happen:
- The judge may sign the protection order “ex parte” which means without a prior hearing and before the other party receives notice. Ex parte orders are typically granted if the judge believes that you would suffer severe harm, loss, or damage before the case could be heard with you and the harasser present;
- The judge could decide that your in your situation, it would be more appropriate for you to have a sexual assault protection order or a domestic abuse protection order and could hold a hearing where the abuser would have to “show cause” why the judge should not issue one of those orders;
- The judge may decide not to give you an ex parte order and instead require you and the harasser to come to court for a hearing; or
- The judge may choose to deny the protection order without a hearing if your petition does not qualify for the requested order.1
If you get the ex parte order, the order is then served to the harasser and s/he has ten days to request what is called a “show-cause hearing” to tell his/her side of the story and ask that the order be dismissed. At this hearing, the harasser must prove to the judge why the order should not remain in effect and you will have to prove why you should keep the order. If the harasser requests a show-cause hearing, the judge will schedule the hearing within 30 days and will notify you and the harasser of the court date.2
Whether the ex parte order was issued or not, the judge will use the hearing to determine if your order should continue or be dismissed.
1 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7), (8); see NE Judicial Branch website’s frequently asked questions page.
2 NE R.S. § 28-311.09(7)