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 New Mexico 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?
- Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If you have ANY questions about it, be sure to ask the judge.
- Make several copies of the protection order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
- 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.
- 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.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. Women can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Tips.
What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
Call the police or sheriff, even if you think it is a minor violation. Depending on the nature of the violation, the abuser may be arrested, fined and jailed. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.
You may file criminal charges against the abuser yourself at the district courthouse if the abuser violates the order.
You may also file in civil court for a violation of a protective order. For example, if an abuser calls you and he’s not supposed to, you can file a motion at the district court, and the court will schedule another hearing. Talk to the clerk of court about filing a motion for a violation of a protective order.
Make sure a police report is filled out if your abuser violates the order, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order it will help you have the order extended or modified.
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
How do I change or extend the permanent order?
To amend your protection order, either party can request a court hearing to ask for an amendment (change).1
Protection orders that grant support or custody of a child can last for up to six months. You can then request that the order be extended for an additional six months. The judge can extend if if s/he believes there is “good cause” to do so. Other permanent orders (injunctive orders) will continue until such time that one party asks for a modification or cancellation of the order2 and so they may not need to be extended.
1 N.M.S.A. § 40-13-5(F)
2 N.M.S.A. § 40-13-6(C)
What happens if I move?
Your protection order is automatically valid everywhere in New Mexico. Additionally, the federal law provides what is called “Full Faith and Credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order; it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands. Different states have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders. You can find out about your state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program, the clerk of courts, or the prosecutor in your area. Please read Moving to Another State with a Protection Order for more information.
If your abuser was awarded visitation of your children, you may not be allowed to move to a different state without the court getting involved.
If you are moving out of state, you should call the battered women’s program in the state where you are going to find out how that state treats out-of-state orders.
If you are moving to a new state, you may also call the National Center on Full Faith and Credit (1-800-903-0111) for information on enforcing your order there.
Note: Civil protective orders may not be enforceable on military bases, and military protective orders may not be enforceable off base. Please check with your local police department, court clerk, and/or domestic violence advocate for more details. Please see our Military Info page for more information.
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)