Protection From Harm To Children
There are eight basic steps you must take to apply for a protection order against harm to children:
Step 1: Verify that this is the appropriate application for you
Step 2: Decide where to file your application
Step 3: Prepare your application
Step 4: Prepare your confidential information sheet
Step 5: Prepare your exhibits (if necessary)
Step 6: Prepare a Civil Court Cover Sheet
Step 7: File your documents with the court
Step 8: Attend a hearing if scheduled and wait for the court’s decision
Each of these steps is discussed below. For general information about protection orders, click to read Overview of Protection Orders.
Which application you should file depends on the facts of your particular situation and why you need the protection. The application on this page for protection against harm to children can be used when the child’s parent or guardian (called the “Applicant”) reasonably believes that a person (called the “adverse party” in the application) has committed or is committing a crime involving intentional physical or mental injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of the child. (NRS 33.400, 432B.100-.110.)
CAUTION! To get this type of protection, the adverse party must be 18 years of age or older. If the adverse party is under 18, you can apply for Protection from Stalking, Aggravated Stalking, or Harassment.
If you are confident that a protection order against harm to children is the correct application for you, click to jump to Step 2 below. If this application does not seem to apply to your situation, click for information about these other possible protection orders:
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.
You must file your application in the justice court for the township where the adverse party has committed or is committing the crime involving intentional physical or mental injury or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of the child.
To find out which justice court has jurisdiction over a specific location, click to visit Find My Court or go to our home page and use the Find a Court Location function. Click to visit Justice Courts for court location and contact information.
AUTOMATED FORMS INTERVIEW AVAILABLE! There is an automated interview that will complete the forms for you after you answer a series of questions. If you are filing for protection in Las Vegas, you'll be able to file the forms directly at the end. To use the interview, click here. If you file directly because you are seeking protection in Las Vegas, then you can skip forward to Step 8 after the interview is completed and the forms are filed. For all other cities, you'll have to print your forms, sign them, and file them yourself, then skip forward to Step 7.
A form Application for Order for Protection of Children is available, free of charge, at the Self-Help Center. You can also download the application by clicking one of the formats underneath the forms title below:
APPLICATION FOR ORDER FOR PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
TIP! You, as the child’s parent or guardian, are the “applicant” in the application. The person you’re requesting a protection order against is the “adverse party.” You will list the child’s name where requested in the application. If the court grants the order, the child will be protected.
As you fill out your application, keep the following tips in mind:
Your application should be typed or neatly handwritten.
Do not write outside the margins or on the back of the forms.
Make sure every blank is filled, even if you write “None,” “N/A,” or “UNK” (for “unknown”).
Be as specific as possible and include all relevant dates, locations, and witnesses.
List yourself as the “applicant.” You can request protection for other people in your household by listing them in the application.
Whatever way you list your name and the name of the adverse party, list those names the same way throughout the application.
The application and any supporting documentation you submit to the court becomes a public record that can be viewed by anyone, so do not include (or black out) things like social security or bank account numbers.
You are signing the application under penalty of perjury. If you make any intentionally false or misleading statements, you may be subject to criminal penalties.
For more tips on filling out legal forms, click to read Basics of Court Forms and Filings.
The next document you must complete is a confidential information sheet. The information you provide in this document is not available to the general public. You can download the form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:
APPLICANT CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION WORKSHEET
Provide as much information as possible. This information allows the court to contact you about upcoming hearings or activities in your case. It also allows law enforcement to serve documents on the adverse party.
If you DO NOT have documents (such as police reports or related protection orders) that you want to submit to the court to support your application, click to jump to Step 7.
If you DO have documents to support your application, print out and copy such things as:
- Documentation or transcripts of phone calls by the adverse party
- Notes or written threats left by the adverse party
- Pictures of property damage caused by the adverse party
- Any other written documents that help to support your application
You are not required to file a written police report before applying for a protection order. If you have filed a police report, you can attach a copy to your application. If there are other protection orders that name the adverse party, attached copies of those as well if they are available.
CAUTION! Remember that any documents you file with the court become public records that anyone can view. So be sure to black out any confidential information (social security numbers, for example) before you file them with the court.
All justice courts except Las Vegas require a cover sheet. A Civil Court Cover Sheet is available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download it on your computer by clicking one of the formats underneath the form's title below:
CIVIL COURT COVER SHEET
If you decided in Step 2 that you are filing in Henderson, North Las Vegas, or one of the other Clark County justice courts (other than Las Vegas), you must take the following completed documents to the justice court and give them to the court clerk:
Application for Order for Protection of Children (and any continuation pages used)
Applicant Confidential Information Worksheet
Protected Party Confidential Information Worksheet (if necessary)
Any police reports, documents, photos, notes, etc., that support your application
A Civil Court Cover Sheet
If you want to keep a copy of the forms and other documents you are submitting to the court, make a copy of them before you give them to the court clerk.
If you decided in Step 2 that you are filing your application in the Las Vegas Justice Court, you will need all the documents listed above except the Civil Court Cover Sheet. Take your completed documents to the courthouse and give them to the court clerk. All documents filed with the Las Vegas Justice Court must be submitted electronically. The court clerk will scan in your documents and return them to you, so you do not need to make copies. But make sure any odd-sized documents are copied onto 8 ½ x 11 standard paper. You will need an e-mail address to file. For more information about e-filing, click to visit the Las Vegas Justice Court website.
When you file your documents, the court will assign your case to a judge who will review your information. The judge can:
- Deny your application. If the judge denies your application, the court will mail you an order explaining the reasons for the denial. If you disagree with the judge's decision, you can file a motion asking that the judge to reconsider the decision or file a new application and provide additional information or evidence.
- Grant your application. If the judge grants your application, the court will mail you a Temporary Protection Order and the sheriff will serve the TPO on the adverse party. The order is not effective until it is served.
FYI! If the sheriff can’t serve the order on the adverse party (or if the adverse party lives out of state), you must arrange to have the order served. The order can’t be served by you or any person named in the order. You can have the order served by a private process server or any person not named in the order who is at least eighteen years old. After the order is served, proof of service must be filed with the court.
- Schedule a hearing on your application. If the judge schedules a hearing on your application, the court will mail you the order scheduling the hearing and the sheriff will serve the order on the adverse party. For more information about what to expect at a court hearing, click to visit Going to Court.
A Temporary Protection Order is only effective for up to forty-five days. If you want the order to be extended for up to two years, you must file a motion requesting that the court extend the order prior to its expiration. The court will schedule a hearing, and the TPO will automatically remain in force until the hearing is held. Click to visit Extending a Protection Order.
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.
To learn what you can do if the adverse party violates your protection order, click to read Enforcing a Protection Order.