Are you in Las Vegas? Refer to our detailed article on how to file a restraining order in Las Vegas.
1. Complete the proper application
Victims must fill out an application for a temporary protective order (TPO). These applications ask for the name of the "adverse party." They also ask for the reasons why a protective order is necessary.
Each local court has its own protective order applications. Victims can find them by Googling the name of their city or town and "protective order."
Alternatively, victims can use these statewide protective order applications authorized by the Nevada Supreme Court.
There are usually different TPO applications depending on what the issue is. These include:
- Domestic violence;
- Stalking and harassment;
- Workplace harassment; and
- Harm against a child
Since every court is different -- and some rural court websites are outdated -- victims are advised to call their local court for up-to-date instructions on how to file a TPO application Victims can search for their local justice court here.
Note that victims in imminent danger should call for help at 911. And domestic violence victims may call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for resources.
If victims cannot fill out their forms at home, they can proceed to step 2. Court can provide the applications in person.
2. Go to the proper court
Victims should then go to their local court to file the TPO application with the court clerk.
In most cases, the local justice court handles protective order applications. But sometimes, the local family court has jurisdiction over TPOs. (In Las Vegas for instance, Family Court processes domestic violence restraining orders. But Las Vegas Justice Court handles all other types of protective orders.)
Victims should phone their local justice court ahead of time if possible. They should ask for instructions on where to bring their TPO applications. And they should ask what hours the clerk's window is open. Many court clerks close their offices well before the courthouse closes its doors.
Once the application is filed, the judge may issue a TPO (temporary protective order). These are usually valid for 45 days. During these 45 days, the "adverse party" is required to stay away from the victim and/or stop the harassment.
3. Apply for an extended protective order
When filing the TPO application with the court clerk, victims should ask for an application for an extended protective order (EPO) as well. (These applications may also be found online.)
EPOs last a year. But in order to get an EPO, the following must occur:
- The court must hold a hearing on whether to grant the EPO;
- The "adverse party" must be properly served with notice about this hearing (the court clerk can provide victims with instructions on how to safely meet the service requirement); and
- During this hearing, the victim needs to persuade the judge that he/she remains in danger (ideally, victims will have a private attorney speaking for them).
The judge may grant the EPO even if the "adverse party" does not attend the hearing. All that matters is that he/she was properly served with notice to appear.
"Adverse parties" who violate TPOs or EPOs face harsh punishments. Learn the penalties for violating a restraining order (NRS 33.100).