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Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 25, 2023

What types of orders of protection for the welfare and protection of children are there? How long do they last?

Temporary ex parte order of protection
The court can issue a temporary ex parte order of protection if the judge determines:

  1. you tried to notify the abuser beforehand that you were filing a petition but you were not able to;
  2. it’s possible that notifying the abuser beforehand will cause the harm that you are trying to avoid by applying for the order of protection; or
  3. the person who is filing the petition shows that there exists a great possibility of an immediate risk of abuse.1

(“Ex parte” is a Latin phrase which means to grant an order without notifying the other party beforehand.) The court will arrange for the abuser to be served with the papers immediately and the abuser will have the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story and oppose the order. The judge will set a hearing that will be scheduled within the next five days after the ex parte order of protection is issued. At the hearing, the judge will decide if s/he will issue a more final order of protection or not.1

Order of protection
This order is designed to protect a minor child from abuse or neglect for a longer period of time than the ex parte order. An order or protection can be issued after a hearing in front of a judge in which both parties have the opportunity to tell their sides of the story. The judge will include in the order the specific protections that the abuser must obey and the amount of time that the order will last.2

1 8 L.P.R.A. § 1184
2 8 L.P.R.A. § 1185