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Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 5, 2020

Can I get my out-of-state protective order enforced in Texas? What are the requirements?

Yes.  Your protective order can be enforced in Texas as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.  It doesn’t matter if s/he actually showed up in court; just that s/he had the opportunity to do so.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled within a “reasonable time” after the order is issued.2

All terms of a valid out-of-state protective order are enforceable in Texas, even if your order contains relief not available in a Texas order.

Although some states have laws regarding registering an out-of-state protective order, Texas does not require you to register your protective order for it to be enforced.3  Your protective order can be enforced in Texas by a police officer even if it is not registered in the NCIC – it can be enforced if the officer has a reason to believe that a valid protective order exists and has been violated (even if you do not have a certified copy of your order.)4  To find out more about NCIC, see What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)(A)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a), (b)
3 Tex. Fam. Code § 88.004(e)
4 Tex. Fam. Code § 88.004(a)-(c)