Step 2: The ex parte hearing
After you complete the application, return it to the clerk. The clerk will forward it to a judge, and the judge will consider your application. The judge may wish to question you about your allegations in an ex parte hearing. “Ex parte” means “from one side.” In this hearing the judge hears only from you, not from the abuser. You will explain to the judge why you fear the abuser and feel you need a protection order. The abuser does not need to know about this hearing until after it has taken place.
After hearing your testimony, the judge will decide whether or not to issue a temporary protection order until your full hearing. Whether or not the judge grants you a temporary order, s/he will generally give you a date for your full court hearing. Your full hearing will take place within 7 to 10 days of your filing the petition.