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Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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November 5, 2020

What happens if the protective order was never served on the abuser and now the abuser violates the order?

If you report a violation in Texas of an out-of-state protective order that was never served on the abuser, the officer is not necessarily required to arrest the abuser for the violation. The officer has to inform the abuser of the order and make a reasonable effort to serve the order on him/her. Then the officer has to allow the abuser a reasonable opportunity to follow what the order says before enforcing it.1 Therefore, s/he might not be arrested for the first violation that you report since s/he had not been served with the order at the time s/he “violated” it. However, the officer can still arrest the abuser for any other crime committed at the time.

1 Tex. Fam. Code § 88.004(d)