Temporary Ex Parte Protective Orders
If a court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future, Texas Family Code § 81.001 establishes the court can render a protective order. Some protective orders may be issued by a criminal court following an arrest related to domestic violence. Typically, a protection order arises as a result of an alleged victim filing an application for protection in civil courts.
A temporary ex parte protective order may be issued without an alleged offender being present it court. The phrase “ex parte” is Latin for “by or for a party,” and a temporary ex parte protective order typically remains in effect for 20 days—usually until the date of a final hearing at which the applicant must be present in order for the protective order to remain in effect.
Lawyer for Temporary Ex Parte Protective Orders in Georgetown, TX
Have you been served with a temporary ex parte protective order in Central Texas? You will want to immediately seek legal representation for your next court appearance. Contact Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. as soon as possible.
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgetown who defends clients accused of family violence offenses in communities all over Bell County and Williamson County, including Belton, Taylor, Hutto, Round Rock, Georgetown, and many others.
You can have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Overview of Temporary Ex Parte Protective Orders in Texas
- How do temporary ex parte protective orders get issued?
- What can a temporary ex parte protective order require a person to do?
- Where can I learn more about temporary ex parte protective orders in Georgetown?
If the court finds from the information contained in an application for a protective order that there is a clear and present danger of family violence, Texas Family Code § 83.001 establishes that the court can enter a temporary ex parte order for the protection of the applicant or any other member of the family or household of the applicant. The court can do this without further notice to the individual alleged to have committed family violence and without a hearing, and it can also direct a respondent (the alleged offender) to do or refrain from doing specified acts.
Under Texas Family Code § 83.002, a temporary ex parte order is valid for the period specified in the order, no more than 20 days—although a temporary ex parte order may be extended for additional 20-day periods, at the request of the applicant or on the court’s own motion. The party affected by the order also has the right under Texas Family Code § 83.004 to file a motion to vacate the order—and the court must set a date for hearing the motion as soon as possible.
Alleged victims file for temporary ex parte protective orders in the office of the County Attorney or District Attorney for which they reside. In most cases, hearings are held relatively quickly and protective orders are issued shortly thereafter—sometimes the same day, but usually within a few days.
Some protective orders may include what is commonly known as a kick-out provision or “kick-out order.” Under Texas Family Code § 83.006(a), the statute governing exclusion of party from residence, a person can only be excluded from the occupancy of the person’s residence by a temporary ex parte order under this chapter if the applicant:
- files a sworn affidavit that provides a detailed description of the facts and circumstances requiring the exclusion of the person from the residence; and
- appears in person to testify at a temporary ex parte hearing to justify the issuance of the order without notice.
Before the court can render a temporary ex parte order excluding a person from his or her residence, Texas Family Code § 83.006(b) establishes that the court must find from the required affidavit and testimony that:
- the applicant requesting the excluding order either resides on the premises or has resided there within 30 days before the date the application was filed;
- the person to be excluded has within the 30 days before the date the application was filed committed family violence against a member of the household; and
- there is a clear and present danger that the person to be excluded is likely to commit family violence against a member of the household.
Texas Family Code § 85.022(b) states that in a protective order, the court can prohibit the person found to have committed family violence from:
- committing family violence;
- communicating directly with a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, in a threatening or harassing manner;
- communicating a threat through any person to a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order; and
- communicating if the court finds good cause, in any manner with a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, except through the party’s attorney or a person appointed by the court;
- going to or near the residence or place of employment or business of a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order;
- going to or near the residence, child-care facility, or school a child protected under the order normally attends or in which the child normally resides;
- engaging in conduct directed specifically toward a person who is a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, including following the person, that is reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass the person;
- possessing a firearm (unless the person is a peace officer actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision); and
- harming, threatening, or interfering with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal that is possessed by or is in the actual or constructive care of a person protected by an order or by a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order.
Protective Orders | Williamson County, Texas — Visit this section of the Williamson County website to learn more about protective orders. Find answers to frequently asked questions about how to obtain protective orders, eligibility, and court appearances. You can also access a Protective Order Inquiry Form.Williamson County Justice Center
County Attorney’s Office
Martin Luther King St.
Georgetown, TX 78626
Protective Order Kit | Texas Attorney General — View a PDF document from the Attorney General’s Office that provides a helpful overview of actual applications for protective orders. Important instructions, reminders, and clarifications are circled in red on the sample. You can also find guidance about preparing for court as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Find a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Orders Defense Attorney in Georgetown, TX
If you have been served with a temporary ex parte protective order in Central Texas, it will be in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. Law Office of Price & Wiggins, P.C. assists individuals with all kinds of domestic violence issues in Cedar Park, Leander, Harker Heights, Killeen, Temple, and several other surrounding areas of Williamson County and Bell County.
Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price can challenge unnecessary and unfair restrictions of your rights and help possibly get your protective order vacated. Call (512) 354-1880 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.