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HOW DOES A PROTECTION ORDER WORK

Courts settle disputes. From civil law suits to criminal charges we turn to our courts to resolve problems. Courts also can provide protection.

Under Nebraska law there are two types of protection orders. Domestic Protection Orders and Harassment Protection Orders. The protection order is analogous to an injunction. Those who violate protection orders are subject to stiff penalties under Nebraska Law.

Domestic Violence Protection Order Neb. Rev. Stat. 42-924

Any victim of domestic abuse may file a petition and affidavit for a protection order through our court system. The judge can provide the petitioner protection by enjoining the respondent (the alleged abuser) from threatening, assaulting, attacking, or otherwise disturbing the peace of the petitioner. The judge can order the respondent not to telephone, email, or otherwise communicate with the petitioner. The court can also order that the respondent removed from the resident of the petitioner, even if the respondent owns the residence. Further, the court can order the respondent to stay away from that residence, or any other place specified by the court. If there are children involved, the court may award the petitioner temporary custody of any minor children for up to 90 days.

However, the respondent is entitled to due process and may challenge the protection order in a court hearing before a judge. If the court grants the petition, the protection order will remain in effect for one year. During this time, the protection order may not be withdrawn without a court order.

Any person who knowingly violates a domestic violence protection order faces up to six months imprisonment and a one thousand dollar fine. If that person has a prior conviction for violating a protection under the statute, he faces up to a year in jail and a one thousand dollar fine. However, any person convicted of violating such order who has a prior conviction for violating the same protection order or a protection order granted to the same petitioner faces a felony charge and faces up to five years in prison and a one thousand dollar fine.

Harassment Protection Order Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-311.09

Any person who has been harassed may file a petition and affidavit for a harassment protection order. Unlike the domestic violence protection order, the victim need not allege domestic abuse or violence. However, the petition for a harassment protection order must provide the court with an explanation of the events and dates of acts constituting the alleged harassment.

The judge can provide the petitioner protection by enjoining the respondent (the alleged abuser) from threatening, assaulting, attacking, or otherwise disturbing the peace of the petitioner. The judge can order the respondent not to telephone, email, or otherwise communicate with the petitioner. The order will remain in effect for one year.

The court may assess fees and costs against the petitioner if statements contained in the petition were false and that the harassment protection order was sought in bad faith. On the other hand, the court also has the authority to fine the respondent with the costs associated with the respondent filing the petition.

The respondent is entitled to a hearing and may challenge allegations made in the petition for a protective order. However, if the court grants the order, it will remain in effect for one year and will not be withdrawn without a court order.

Any person who knowingly violates a harassment protection order faces up to six months imprisonment and a one thousand dollar fine.