Overview Of Protection Orders
A “protection order” is an order issued by a court that protects a person by requiring another person to do, or not do, certain things. The order could be:
- A “temporary protection order,” which is an order issued by the justice court that is in effect for up to 45 days, or
- An “extended protection order,” which is an order that extends the initial temporary protection order for up to two years.
The “applicant” is the person who believes they need protection and who files the application for an order with the court. The applicant could be:
- A person who believes they need protection because they have been the victim of a crime involving stalking or harassment or sexual assault.
- A parent or guardian of a child who has been the victim of a crime categorized as harmful to minors.
- An employer or business that believes the crime of harassment in the workplace has occurred.
The “adverse party” is the person the applicant believes they need protection from. It is the person who allegedly committed the crime against the applicant.
A protection order can do a number of things. It can:
- Order the adverse party to stay away from the applicant’s home, school, business, place of employment, and any other location specifically named by the court.
- Require the adverse party to refrain from contacting, intimidating, threatening, or otherwise interfering with the applicant or members of the applicant’s family, household, or any other person named by the court.
- Order the adverse party to comply with any other restriction the court deems necessary to protect the victim or any other person named in the order.
Q&A – Protection Orders
Who can apply for a protection order?
You can apply for a protection order if:
- You reasonably believe that you are the victim of a crime involving stalking or harassment,
- You reasonably believe that you are the victim of sexual assault,
- You are the agent of a business where the crime of harassment in the workplace has occurred, or
- You are the parent or guardian of a child and you reasonably believe the child has been the victim of a crime categorized as harmful to minors.
You must be at least eighteen years old to apply for a protection order. If you are a minor who needs protection, you must have an adult apply for the protection order on your behalf.
Do I need an attorney to apply for a protection order?
You can apply for a protection order without an attorney. Or you can hire an attorney to assist you with the application and any hearing if you choose to do so.
How much does it cost to file for a protection order?
If you are seeking an order against workplace harassment, you will be required to pay a $71 filing fee and post a bond of $100 with the court. (The court can also award costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in this type of case.)
For all other types of protection orders, there is no fee to file an application. If the case goes to a hearing before a judge, the judge has the discretion to impose the full filing fee, a reduced fee, or no fee against the adverse party.
Can I file for a protection order but keep my name and address confidential?
Talk to the court clerk where you are filing your application to verify whether you can file and still keep your name and address confidential.
If you are a victim of sexual assault and have concerns about your privacy, you can explore the Nevada Secretary of State’s Confidential Address Program (CAP). For more information, call (775) 684-5707 or toll free at (888) 432-6189.
The protection order application asks you to list specific locations where you are seeking protection. If you are afraid to divulge that information to the adverse party, you can indicate that the information is “confidential” and not list the information in your application.
CAUTION! Listing information as “confidential” could limit law enforcement’s ability to enforce your order. For example, if your order requires the adverse party to stay away from your work, but that address isn’t listed in your protection order, police may be reluctant to arrest the adverse party if he shows up at your work because he may not know he’s required to stay away from that location.
Where do I need to file my application for a protection order?
For a justice court to issue a protection order, the incident that gave rise to the order must have occurred in the area served by the justice court. An act of stalking or harassment occurs “where the conduct occurred” or “where the person who was affected by the conduct was located at the time that the conduct occurred.” So, for example:
- If the adverse party is stalking you in North Las Vegas, you can file your application in the North Las Vegas Justice Court.
- If the adverse party is making threatening phone calls to you, and you received those phone calls in Henderson, you can file you application in the Henderson Justice Court.
Which protection order application should I file?
Which application you should file depends on the facts of your particular situation and why you need the protection. You will need to study the Nevada statutes that relate to stalking, harassment, harm to minors, sexual assault, and harassment in the workplace to decide which statutes and application apply to your situation.
For information about each application, instructions, and forms, click to visit:
Protection from Stalking, Aggravated Stalking & Harassment
Protection from Workplace Harassment
Protection from Harm to Children
Protection from Sexual Assault
TIP! If you and the person you need protection from are in a “domestic” relationship (which could include someone you're related to, someone you’re dating, or someone you have dated) you might need a protection order against domestic violence from the family court. The justice courts cannot issue that type of order. For more information, click to visit the Family Law Self-Help Center website.
What will happen after I submit my application for a protection order?
After you have completed your application and other documents, your paperwork will be assigned a case number, and your case will be assigned to a justice of the peace. The justice of the peace will do one of three things:
- Grant your application and issue a “TPO” (temporary protection order).
- If the court grants your application, a written protection order will be prepared and sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency for service on the adverse party.
- If (1) you have provided insufficient information to locate the adverse party, or (2) the adverse party is a minor, or (3) the adverse party resides outside Clark County or in another state, it will be your responsibility to contact the proper law enforcement agency where the adverse party resides in order to have the protection order served.
- Deny your application.
- If your application is denied, the justice of the peace will issue an order explaining the reason for the denial.
- Schedule a hearing.
- When you file your application, verify with the court clerk how you will be notified should the court schedule a hearing on your application. Typically you will receive notice by mail, and the sheriff will serve notice on the adverse party.
Can I get a protection order without notifying the adverse party?
A temporary protection order can be granted without notice to the adverse party. However, the court can require a hearing before deciding whether to grant a temporary order.
An extended protection order cannot be granted without notice to the adverse party and a hearing.
How long does a protection order last?
A temporary protection order will expire no later than 45 days (15 days for protection orders against workplace harassment) after the order is signed and served on the adverse party, unless otherwise ordered by a justice of the peace. If the order is not served within 45 days after it is issued, it will expire.
FYI! Some courts count 45 days from the date the judge signs the order. But some courts count 45 days from the date the order is served on the adverse party. Check with the court clerk where you filed your application to verify how long the order will be in effect.
An extended protection order must expire no later than two years after a justice of the peace signs the extended order. If the applicant files for an extended protection order, the temporary order remains in effect until the hearing on the extended order is held. An extended order cannot be issued after a temporary order has expired.
How do I apply for an extended protection order?
If the applicant wishes to apply for an extended protection order, the applicant may file a motion to extend the protection order. If the motion to extend the protection order is filed within the period of a temporary order (in other words, before the TPO expires), the temporary order remains in effect until the hearing on the extended order is held. An extended order cannot be issued after a temporary order has expired. Click to visit Extending a Protection Order for forms and more information.
Does the adverse party have any legal remedies once the protection order is issued?
The adverse party has three options after the protection order is issued:
- The adverse party can file a Motion to Dissolve the protection order, and the court might schedule a hearing on the motion. The applicant can appear at the hearing to oppose the adverse party’s motion. If the Motion to Dissolve is granted after a hearing, the protection order will become immediately void and unenforceable.
- The adverse party can file a Motion to Modify the protection order, and the court might schedule a hearing on the motion.
- If an extended protection order is issued, the adverse party can file an appeal to the district court, and the district court might affirm, modify, or vacate the order. The extended protection order remains in effect during any appeal, unless the court orders otherwise.
Click to visit Modifying, Dissolving, or Appealing a Protection Order for forms and more information.
If the adverse party violates the protection order, what should I do?
If the adverse party violates the protection order, you should call the police and report the incident immediately. In addition, you should consider filing a motion to hold the adverse party in contempt of court. The court will review your motion and decide whether a hearing should be scheduled. Click to visit Enforcing a Protection Order for forms and more information.
What is the criminal penalty for violating a protection order?
Any person who intentionally violates a temporary order is guilty of a gross misdemeanor (unless a more severe penalty is provided by law for the act that constitutes the violation), which is punishable by not more than one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.
Any person who intentionally violates an extended order is guilty of a category C felony (unless a more severe penalty is provided by law for the act that constitutes the violation), which is punishable by one-to-five years in Nevada State Prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
If the act that constitutes the violation of a protection order is itself a felony, the adverse party can be punished by imprisonment in the state prison "for a term equal to and in addition to the term of imprisonment prescribed by statute" for the act that constitutes the violation. (NRS 193.166.)
In addition, a person who violates a protection order may also be held in contempt of court and punished by a fine of up to $500 and imprisonment up to twenty-five days. (NRS 22.100.) Criminal contempt may also be prosecuted as a misdemeanor criminal case, punishable by imprisonment in jail for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.
How does a protection order application move through the court?
The flowchart below shows how a protection order moves through the court after it is filed.