When your relationship is dysfunctional, it impacts the entire family. If you don’t feel safe within your home, it makes daily life seem unbearable.
But you don’t have to live in fear. In Nebraska, the process to get a restraining order is simple.
No one should suffer in silence. Follow along to learn more about getting a protection order in Douglas County.
1. Do Your Research
All restraining orders or protection orders are not equal. In the state of Nebraska, there are three types of protection orders available. They are harassment protection order, domestic abuse protection, and sexual assault protection.
A harassment protection order protects a person who experiences excessive calling, texting, social media contact.
Domestic Abuse Protection
Domestic abuse protections are for a person with whom you have a parental, dating, or married relationship and who has threat, history, or current domestic violence or assault.
Sexual Assault Protection
Sexual assault protections require proof of sexual assault such as touching, groping, rape, etc.
Speaking with an attorney might help you decide which course of action to take.
2. Gather Information
When filing an affidavit for a protection order, it’s crucial to have evidence for the judge. Keep track of dates of incidences, names of witnesses, police reports, medical records, and photographs of physical and sexual trauma.
An attorney might help you go through what documentation and information you should bring to court. Remember, attorneys get an education and experience, so you don’t have to wonder what to do.
Strong evidence could persuade the court to grant the protection order.
3. Have Support
You shouldn’t go through a challenging situation alone. Whether you’re handling harassment, domestic abuse, or healing from a sexual assault, it’s essential to have support.
Confide in your family or friends about what is going on. See if they can come with you to court. There is safety in numbers, and you want to ensure your protection.
4. Develop a Safety Plan
Many people become stuck in domestic situations. But there are ways to get out of it. Search for local women’s shelters. Contact a domestic violence case manager and discuss your options about leaving your home. Although sometimes the restraining order requires the abuser to move out, you may want to change locations if it will help you feel safer.
A restraining order can help protect you and your children. But leaving your home is sometimes the best move.
Talk with your case manager and see what the best steps to take aside from filing for a protection order is.
5. Go to the Courthouse
After consulting an attorney or researching the information for submitting a protection order, it’s time to visit the district courthouse. According to the Douglas County Clerk’s website, the affidavit to file a restraining order gets processed on the third floor of the courthouse on 17th and Farnam Streets.
6. Bring All Documentation
Before going to the courthouse, grab all necessary paperwork and identification. The documentation should include dates of incidences, names of witnesses, police reports, medical records, and photographs of physical and sexual trauma.
Collecting this type of information is vital when trying to get a restraining order. The judge wants solid proof the protection request is valid and necessary.
7. Complete an Affidavit
The petition and affidavit to request a protection order is a detailed six-page form. The document refers to the person who harassed or abused you as the respondent. It’s crucial to read over and complete the papers.
If you have questions about the affidavit, speaking with an attorney before visiting the courthouse might be beneficial. Hiring an attorney could save you from having the testimony denied.
After you’ve finished filling out the affidavit, it will get notarized and submitted to the judge.
8. Wait for the Judge to Review It
The judge reviews your affidavit after it’s submission. There are three outcomes for an affidavit.
If there’s not enough evidence, it could get denied. If the judge wants to hear from you and the respondent a show cause hearing gets scheduled. The show cause hearing typically takes place within two weeks after the request for protection gets made.
When the judge believes your life is in immediate danger, an Ex Parte Order could be issued, according to Women’sLaw.org.
9. Allow the Order to Get Served
If an affidavit gets denied, you should seek legal counsel and discuss your options. Refiling an affidavit with the help of an attorney might ensure you receive the restraining order.
If a show cause hearing gets scheduled, you and the respondent appear in court. You can tell the judge why a restraining order is needed, and the respondent can discuss why it’s not necessary.
10. Distribute Copies
After the judge grants the protection order, it’s not official until the respondent gets served.
Before leaving the district courthouse, review the restraining order for errors or missing information. If something needs amending, tell the clerk.
Make copies of the protection order. Keep one with you and distribute them to your job, security at your apartment complex, your child’s school, etc.
Stay Safe and Get a Restraining Order
The step to get a restraining order are simple but should be followed to ensure your safety. If you’re unsure about what information to gather as evidence, then speak with an attorney. A consultation is an excellent way to learn your options.
To learn more about our legal services, please call us today at (402) 415-2525.