What types of orders of protection are there? How long do they last?
There are 2 types of orders of protection against stalking or sexual assault. If a judge believes there exists a clear and present danger of further stalking, sexual assault, or of serious adverse (negative) physical consequences to you, s/he can issue an ex parte temporary order of protection.* "Ex parte" is Latin for "from one side," which means that the abuser is not notified ahead of time that the order is being issued and is not present in court. This temporary order will last only until your full court hearing when the abuser has an opportunity to tell his/her side, usually within 72 hours.**
The amount of time that a final order of protection lasts will depend on the reason for the order. For an order based on stalking, it can last up to 1 year. For an order based on sexual assault, it can last for the longer of these two time periods:
- (up to) 6 months; or
- the date that the abuser is charged with sexual assault (or a related criminal offense) and the court-ordered bond conditions for pre-trial release are as restrictive as those in the order of protection.***
To get a final order, you will have a hearing in front of a judge. Both you and the abuser will have an opportunity to tell your sides of the story at this hearing.
* Wyoming Code § 7–3–508(b)
** Wyoming Code § 7–3–508(a)
*** Wyoming Code § 7-3-510(b)