A TPO against domestic violence is an enforceable court order that is intended to keep one person from being abused by another person. TPOs may also be extended to children who are at risk from violence or threats of violence.
Who can I get a TPO against?
In Nevada, there are different types of protective orders. Typically protective orders can be issued against a spouse, blood relative, parent, significant other or someone who is currently, or previously, lived in the same household. These protective orders are usually issued through the Family Court.
If the abuser does not fit into one of the previously mentioned categories, a civil stalking and/or harassment order may be obtained through the Clark County Justice Court. This article deals mostly with Family Court TPOS.
How long will the TPO last?
Nevada law recognizes three types of protective orders: emergency orders, temporary orders and extended orders. Emergency Temporary Protection Orders are enforceable for 7 days and are available if you to apply as soon as possible after the opposing party is arrested for domestic battery or related charges and while the opposing party remains in police custody. A Temporary Protection Orders must be obtained by filing a written application and are effective for 30 days. An Extended Protection Orders requires a hearing and may be enforceable for one year. To obtain an extended protective order, the opposing party must receive notice of the date and time of the hearing. Failure of the applicant to attend the hearing will result in automatic dissolution of the protective order. There is no such thing as a permanent order of protection on Nevada.
How do I obtain a TPO?
To obtain a TPO, go to the Family Court located at 601 N. Pecos in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once you are there, you will need to go to the TPO office to obtain forms to complete the application for a protective order and an affidavit. This form is a “fill in the blank” document that includes an area for you to explain in your own words why you need a TPO. Explain in your own writing, what has happened, why you need the TPO and why you are afraid it will happen again if a TPO is not granted. You need to be specific about the events and demonstrate an imminent threat of substantial bodily harm in your description of events. In other words, you need to show that it was more than just “I was threatened.” Be graphic and specific when explaining what has led you to seek the TPO.
There are individuals at the TPO office that can assist you in completing the forms. Safe Nest and SAFE House also have individuals who can assist with the process. You can also talk to a licensed attorney to obtain further information about how to obtain a TPO.
Once you have filled out all of the forms, the TPO office will take them from you and review them. They may speak with you at that time to ensure you have completed the forms correctly. The forms will then be filed and reviewed by the TPO Hearing Commissioner. The decision whether to grant the protection order, deny your application, or require a hearing is up to the Commissioner. This can take up to 2 days and in order to find out if your TPO is granted, you can all the TPO office at (702) 455-3400 to obtain the decision.
You may obtain a copy of the TPO by mail or you can come to the TPO office to receive a copy of the order. The order is not effective until the opposing party is served with a copy of the order. Usually service can be effected by the Sheriff’s Office and there is no charge for service.
How do I extend my TPO?
The protective order will expire 30 days after it is issued unless you must return to court on the day the judge set for the hearing to extend the protection order. If the opposing party fails to appear for a hearing, the hearing will for forward and the judge may extend the TPO for up to one year. However, be prepared to explain to the judge what occurred and why you need a protective order as it is likely the judge will ask you these questions regardless of whether the opposing party appears at the hearing.
If the opposing party appears at the hearing, the judge will allow both of you the opportunity to explain what happened and why the TPO should or should not be extended. You should always tell the truth and be prepared to provide the Court with documentation about the incident. Medical records, police reports and photographs are always helpful to a judge when assessing the situation. If there has been further violation of the temporary or emergency order it may be helpful to bring cell phones, text messages, phone records and voicemail recordings to show the judge. Keep your testimony short and to the point. Do not argue with the opposing side and be respectful to the Court.
After the judge listens to both side, the judge may decide not to extend a protection order. If this happens to you, and you still feel that you should have a protection order, you should talk to a domestic violence advocate about what you can do to appeal the judge’s decision. If the TPO is extended, you can ask the judge to grant other reasonable requests such as child custody, visitation and child support. Please keep in mind these are temporary orders and you should file a separate case before a District Court Family Judge to address these issues. You can tell the judge how long you would like the order to stay in effect. The judge will extend the protection order for a set period of time, up to one year.
Once the protection order expires, another protection order will be granted only if there are new incidents of domestic violence.