What types of protection orders are there? How long do they last?
There are two types of orders – ex parte and permanent.
Ex parte protection orders
When requesting a protection order, if you need immediate protection, tell the clerk of the court that you would also like to request an ex parte protection order. “Ex parte” means that the abuser does not receive advance notice and is not present in the court when the order is granted. A judge can grant an ex parte protection order if you show that there is a high probability of immediate risk of abuse or there is a chance that notifying the abuser of the order in advance will cause the harm that the protection order is intended to prevent.1
After receiving the ex parte order, the court will notify the abuser within 48 hours and will set a date for a court hearing within twenty days of issuing the order. In this hearing, the abuser will have the chance to contest the order. During the hearing, the court can nullify the order or extend it for a period of time deemed necessary.2
If the court grants you an ex parte order of protection or if the ex parte order is not granted but the case is scheduled for a hearing within the next 5 days, you will have to go back to court so that you can present evidence to the judge. You may be granted a protection order after a court hearing before a judge, in which both you and the abuser have an opportunity to tell your version of the story. If the judge believes that you proved that you have suffered from domestic violence, the court will grant a protection order for the period it determines to be necessary.2
1 See 8 L.P.R.A. § 625(b),(c)
2 See 8 L.P.R.A. §§ 625, 624(a)