Protection/Restraining Orders: What Do They Mean?




We were asked (often): Do I have to by physically abused to get a protection order (a.k.a. restraining order) for my safety, even if I feel I am in danger?  Answer: NO. According to the Nevada Revised Statutes you do NOT have to be physically injured to be a domestic violence victim or to obtain a protection order (fact: Physical abuse usually is the last step- with emotional, verbal, and economic abuse leading the way).
NRS 33.018 defines domestic violence in Nevada as: •Battery (physical violence including slapping, punching, strangulation, etc.),•Assault (attempting to use physical force against you or intentionally placing another person in reasonable fear of immediate bodily harm),•Using force or threats to make you do something that you don’t want to do or to not let you do something that you do want to do,•Sexual assault,•Doing one or more of these acts with the intent to harass you: ◦Arson,◦Trespassing,◦Larceny,◦Destruction of private property,◦Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit,◦False imprisonment,◦Injuring or killing an animal,◦Stalking,◦Illegally entering your home when you are not there or forcing his/her way into your home against your will in a way that may cause you harm.
For these acts to be considered domestic violence, you have to have a specific relationship to the person doing the act.
There are three types of orders in Nevada:  An emergency protective order is an order that you can request by telephone if you are the victim of domestic violence, and the abuser is arrested and jailed. It lasts up to one week until a hearing can be held. To get an emergency protective order, you must call within 12 hours of the abuser’s arrest. You can call justice of the peace court and they will issue the order over the phone and have the police serve the abuser with the order while s/he is in jail. A judge should be available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week in counties whose population is 52,000 or more; in a county with less than 52,000 people, it is optional (not mandatory) for the county to make judges available 24 hours per day.
A temporary protection order is based on your affidavit you present to the court in your application. If a judge finds that you or your family are in danger of being harmed, s/he can grant a TPO within 1 judicial day of receiving your application. A temporary order can last up to 30 days. If you file for an extended order at the same time that you file for the temporary order (or at any time while the temporary order is in effect), the TPO will last until the date of your hearing for an EPO.  An EPO lasts for up to 1 year.
A TPO can:
•Forbid further threats, harassment, or injury to you directly or through a third party;•Order the abuser to stay out of your home;•Prohibit the abuser from entering your place of employment, school, or other specific location;•Award you temporary legal custody of children;•Prohibit the abuser from physically injuring, threatening to injure, or taking possession of any animal owned by you or by your minor child, either directly or through a third party;•Prohibit the abuser from physically injuring or threatening to injure any animal that is owned or kept by the abuser, either directly or through a third party; and/or•Order anything else that is necessary.*
An extended order can grant everything mentioned above and in addition to:•Award you custody of your children and force the abuser to pay child support;•Establish visitation arrangements and require supervision by a third party if necessary;•Order the abuser to make payments on the home in which you are living;•Reimburse you for lost earnings and expenses due to you having to attend any hearing for an extended order;•Arrange for the possession and care of any animal owned or kept by either party or your minor child;•Force the abuser to turn over to law enforcement, sell or transfer any firearms within 24 hours after being served the EPO and prevent him/her from buying firearms while the order is in effect.**
* N.R.S. § 33.030(1)** N.R.S. §§ 33.031(a), 33.033(
If you feel your life has been endangered by inaccurate, misleading, or a disregard for your personal safety or Nevada law, there are actions you can take to advocate for your safety, your family's safety, and the safety of the community.