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Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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November 25, 2023

What types of protection from stalking orders are there?

There are two types of protection from stalking orders: ex parte orders (temporary) and protection orders that are more permanent.

Ex parte orders (temporary)
If you need immediate protection, you can let the court clerk know that you also want to apply for an ex parte protection from stalking order. “Ex parte” means that the abuser does is not present in the court or notified beforehand. A judge can grant an ex parte order if:

  • you can prove that there is a significant risk of immediate abuse to you and/or your family members; or
  • it is likely that giving notice to the abuser that you are seeking a protection order would cause the type of harm that you are trying to prevent by filing for the protection order.1

Even if the judge doesn’t issue you an ex parte order, s/he can still schedule a court hearing within 5 days where both you and the abuser have a change to be present and you can try to prove to the judge that you were stalked.2

After getting the ex parte order, the abuser will have to be notified by “personal service” of the court hearing, which will be scheduled within the next 5 days.3 In this hearing, the abuser will have the opportunity to fight against the order. During the hearing, the court can cancel the order or extend it for as much time as the judge believes is necessary.1

Protection orders
After the court has granted you an ex parte protection order, you will have to go back to the court to get a more final protection order. A protection order can be issued after a hearing in court where you and the abuser have a chance to give your versions of what happened. If you win the case, the judge will grant you a protection order that lasts for the time the judge believes to be necessary.4

1 33 L.P.R.A. § 4017
2 33 L.P.R.A. § 4016(c)
3 See 33 L.P.R.A. § 4019(b)
4 See 33 L.P.R.A. § 4018(a)