There are few situations more terrifying than having a person harass or stalk you. Whether it’s a stranger, a former partner, or a family member, you deserve the peace of mind that can only come with safety and security. Unfortunately, stalking situations rob you of that safety and put you in a dangerous position. If you are experiencing harassment or stalking, you are not alone. It is estimated that between 6 and 7.5 million people are stalked each year in the U.S. If you are one of these people and you’re wondering what to do next, a temporary protection order might be the best option for protecting your safety.
What Is a Temporary Protection Order?
A temporary protection order is a legal injunction indicating that one party — typically an abuser or stalker — must honor certain restrictions in relation to another party — their victim. In Nevada, a TPO can be issued for periods of up to 45 days. During that time, victims are granted a certain number of rights, including:
- Protection from the subject of the protective order
- No-contact orders shielding you from harassment
- A hearing at a later date for a permanent order
These rights are an important tool of protection for victims of harassment, stalking, and abuse. Because it is an injunction, a temporary protection order is only a temporary fix, which has both drawbacks and benefits. For example, you will have to face a court hearing if you want a more permanent form of protection. However, a TPO can also be issued ex parte in the absence of the defendant. Issuing the order without the defendant’s presence shields victims from the spectacle of a courtroom debacle and prioritizes their safety above any potential defenses from the abuser.
Why Do I Need a Temporary Protection Order?
If you’re researching TPOs, you probably already know why you might need one: You are being harassed, stalked, threatened, or otherwise harmed by an abusive individual. You need legal protection and peace of mind to stop this behavior and regain control of your life. Some of the other scenarios that may necessitate a protection order include the following:
- A former partner won’t stop contacting you relentlessly
- A family member has threatened you or your children
- Somebody is stalking you and tracking your whereabouts
If any of these situations mirror what you are going through, it’s time to consider getting a temporary protection order. A TPO, once served to the defendant, mandates that they halt whatever offensive behavior they are engaging in, or face legal consequences.
How Do I Get a Protection Order?
Getting a temporary protective order isn’t as difficult as you may think. Though it does require some paperwork, the steps are relatively straightforward. In order to apply for a temporary protection order, you must complete the following forms:
- Fill out an application for a TPO
- Fill out a confidential information sheet
- Complete a UCCJEA declaration if children are included
The petition for a TPO can be filed at your local justice court, and it is free to do so. If you don’t know where your closest court is, you can search online to find it. A lawyer can be a valuable advocate in this situation, but legal representation is not required in order to proceed. If you do opt to have an attorney represent you, they can help you navigate this part of the process and ensure your petition is filed correctly.
As soon as you have filed the necessary paperwork, your request will be reviewed by a judge, and if approved, it is then served and enforced. It is important to note that you can submit evidence along with your petition in order to support your claims and increase the likelihood that your order will be approved. Evidence can be photographs, text messages, emails, or any other documentation of the experiences you’ve had.
What Does a Protection Order Do?
The specifications of a temporary protection order are dependent upon the circumstances a victim is dealing with. If, for example, the defendant will not stop harassing the victim via social media and phone calls, then a protective order would indicate that the defendant is not permitted to make any such contact with the victim. Similarly, if the defendant is habitually frequenting places that the victim is also known to appear, then the protective order may indicate that the perpetrator can no longer come within a specified distance of the victim. In addition to establishing these boundaries, a TPO allows for legal repercussions if the terms of the order are violated.
What Happens After a Protective Order Is Issued?
Once a petition for a protective order has been reviewed and the order has been issued, there are several things that happen:
- A law enforcement officer will locate the defendant of the order and serve it to them.
- If any violation of the protective order occurs, the perpetrator is subject to arrest.
- A full hearing of allegations is scheduled to determine whether a permanent order is necessary.
- At the hearing, a judge will consider the evidence and hear testimony.
Once your temporary protective order is issued, it’s important to start planning for the court date ahead. Typically that court date is scheduled within 30 days of the issuance of the temporary protection order, so it’s important to be ready when the day comes. A dedicated legal advocate can help you ensure you’re ready for your day in court.
Get the Legal Advocacy You Need and Deserve
Victims of stalking and harassment need legal protection from their abusers. You deserve a legal representative who is dedicated to your protection and committed to fighting for your case. The Law Firm of C. Benjamin Scroggins, Esq. represents victims of stalking and harassment by providing sound legal counsel and steadfast advocacy in court. Whether you’ve been hurt by a former partner or are being followed by an obsessive ex, a temporary protection order can help you regain peace of mind and feel safe again. Schedule a consultation online or call (702) 328-5550 for more information.