What are the legal definitions of harassment, stalking, and aggravated stalking in Nevada?
Harassment is when someone threatens you with any of the following and you reasonably fear that the threat will be carried out:
- to cause future physical injury to you or to another person;
- to cause physical damage to your property or the property of another person (besides the harasser);
- to physically confine or restrain (forcefully hold or keep) you or another person; or
- to do any act which is intended to cause significant harm to the physical or mental health or safety of you or another person.1
Stalking is when a person performs a series of acts over time that reasonably causes you to reasonably feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or fearful for your safety, or the safety of your family or household member.2
Note: “Family or household member” means a current or former spouse, a parent, a person who is related by blood or marriage, or a person who is or was living with you.3
Aggravated stalking is when a person commits the crime of stalking (as defined above) and also threatens you with the intention of making you reasonably fear death or serious bodily harm.4
1 N.R.S. § 200.571(1)
2 N.R.S. § 200.575(1)
3 N.R.S. § 200.575(6)(b)
4 N.R.S. § 200.575(2)
What types of orders are there? How long do they last?
There are two types of orders: a temporary order and an extended order.
A temporary order for protection against stalking and harassment is an order that can be granted on the first day you file your petition in court. The judge will decide whether or not to give you the temporary order based on the information you include in your petition as well as your testimony or any evidence you present when you are in front of the judge who is reviewing your petition. You can get the order without the abuser being present or notified beforehand (known as an ex parte order).1 The temporary order will last up to 45 days or until your court hearing for an extended order takes place (assuming that you file a petition for an extended order within those 45 days).2
Note: Once your temporary ex parte order is served on the abuser, s/he can file legal papers to ask the court to change or drop the temporary order sooner than the scheduled hearing. S/he has to give you only two days’ notice of this new hearing.3
An extended order lasts for up to two years.4 Extended orders can only be granted after the abuser has been given notice of the court hearing and a hearing takes place in which you and the abuser each have an opportunity to present evidence and tell your different sides of the story.1 You may want to have a lawyer represent you at this hearing, especially if you think the abuser will have one. For free and paid legal services, go to our NV Finding a Lawyer page.
1 N.R.S. § 200.591(3)
2 N.R.S. § 200.594(1)
3 N.R.S. § 200.594(2)
4 N.R.S. § 200.594(3)
What protections can I get in an order for protection against stalking and harassment?
A temporary or extended order can:
- Tell the abuser to stay away from your home, school, business, or place of employment and any other location specifically named by the court;
- Prohibit the abuser from contacting, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with you or any other person named in the order, including a member of your family or household; and
- Include other restrictions on the abuser that the court considers necessary to protect you or to protect any other person specifically named by the court, including members of your family or household.1
Note: If an abuser is charged with the crime of harassment, stalking, or aggravated stalking against you, you might get a protection order from the criminal court judge with the restrictions listed above. The judge could issue this order if the abuser (defendant) is released from jail before trial or once s/he is found guilty of the crime.2 If the abuser is brought to trial, the prosecutor should inform you of the outcome of the case. If the court orders any restrictions on the abuser, the court clerk is supposed to provide you and any other people named in the order with a certified copy of the order.3
1 N.R.S. § 200.591(1)
2 N.R.S. § 200.591(2)
3 N.R.S. § 200.601
Can the abuser's gun be taken away in an order for protection against stalking and harassment?
Unlike in an order for protection against domestic violence, the law does not specifically say that a judge can prohibit the abuser from having or using a gun as part of an order for protection against stalking and harassment.1 However, if the person is convicted of stalking in criminal court and you (the victim) are his/her family or household member (as explained here), the judge can order the abuser to permanently give up his/her firearms and prohibit him/her from possessing or owning firearms. This can be known as an “admonishment of rights.” If the abuser violates these terms, s/he can be guilty of a B felony and be subject to prison for between one and six years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.2
1 See N.R.S. §§ 200.591; 33.031(1); 33.033(1)
2 N.R.S. § 200.575(5)-(7)
If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?
When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.
There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:
- The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
- One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
- If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.
However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.
You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.
Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.