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What Is a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order?

 Posted on June 21, 2021 in Family Law

TX family lawyerIn Texas, victims of domestic violence, as well as those who are at risk of domestic violence, can apply for help in the form of a protective order against the person who may cause them harm. A protective order granted by the court can impose many restrictions on a person’s behavior, including barring them from committing future acts of violence, communicating with or going near the person under protection, or even staying in their residence. In most cases, the court will hold a hearing with both parties to determine the appropriate restrictions. However, the court can sometimes issue a protective order ex parte, meaning without a hearing.

When Will a Texas Court Grant a Protective Order Without a Hearing?

If you are at risk of imminent violence, it may be unsafe and unrealistic for you to wait for a hearing before a protective order goes into effect. Providing notice to the other party of your petition for protection could even put you at greater risk. If you find yourself in such a situation, you can petition for a temporary ex parte protective order. You will still need to make your case to the court, either in writing or in person, that the order should be granted, and you will need to show that you are in “clear and present danger” of suffering harm. If your petition is successful, the order will take effect immediately upon the court’s approval.

Keep in mind, however, that a temporary ex parte order is more limited than a typical protective order. First of all, if you and the other party share a residence, it can be more difficult for you to secure exclusive possession of the residence through an ex parte order. Secondly, a temporary ex parte protective order only lasts for up to 20 days at a time, so if you want to protect yourself in the long term, you will need to prepare for a hearing to demonstrate your ongoing need for protection.

What If I Am Subject to an Ex Parte Protective Order?

If someone applies for an ex parte order against you, it may feel like the situation is out of your control, given the lack of an opportunity to present your perspective at a hearing. While it may be difficult, you should be sure to abide by any terms of the order while it is in effect, as a violation can have immediate legal consequences and harm your legal prospects in the long run. You do, however, have the right to petition the court to vacate the order, which will give you the opportunity to have your voice heard in a court hearing.

Contact a Texas Protective Order Attorney

At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we can help you file for a protective order that keeps you and your family safe from domestic violence. We can also help you understand your rights and options if you are the subject of an ex parte order. Contact our Austin, TX family lawyers today at 512-610-6199 for a confidential consultation.





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