A Protection Order is a civil court order that can help protect victims of domestic violence, stalking, malicious harassment, or telephone harassment by preventing offenders from contacting them. You do not need an attorney to request a Protection Order and it is free to apply for a Protection Order. The law permits the following people to request a Protection Order:
Domestic Violence Victims, which includes:
- Spouses, former spouses, or persons related by blood, adoption, or marriage to the offender
- Persons who reside or have resided with the offender, whether adults or children
- Persons who have a child in common with the offender, regardless of whether they have ever been married or have ever lived together
- Adults or minor children who have had or are in a dating relationship with the offender
- Custodial parents, non-custodial parents, or guardians on behalf of minor children who are in any of the above categories
- Victims of stalking, malicious harassment, or telephone harassment.
For the purpose of a Protection Order, domestic violence is defined as physical abuse/injury, sexual abuse, or forced imprisonment. You can obtain a petition or application for a Protection Order on the first floor of the Ada County Courthouse at the clerk’s office, 200 West Front Street. The Women and Children’s Alliance (WCA) Court Advocate Program can also assist you in seeking a Protection Order. You can reach them at (208) 343-3688 ext. 20 or at FACES at (208) 577-4400.
When you file an application for a Protection Order, you are under oath and must tell the truth when filling out the application. You should explain in the application the specific reasons why you fear for your safety and any conduct by the offender that has made you fearful. At the hearing, the judge may ask you questions to clarify statements in your application.
TEMPORARY PROTECTION ORDER / EX PARTE ORDER
A Temporary Protection Order is also referred to as an “Ex Parte Order,” meaning “from one party” because you can apply for the order without the offender being present at the initial hearing. If the judge grants the Protection Order, you will receive a copy of the Temporary Protection Order and will be directed to return in 14 days for the next hearing. The Sheriff’s Department will serve a copy of the Temporary Protection Order on the person who abused you and the offender will be given the next hearing date to appear for the 90-day Protection Order.
90-DAY PROTECTION ORDER
If the judge issues the Temporary Protection Order, the judge will set another hearing within 14 days. At that hearing the judge will decide whether to issue a 90-day Protection Order. You must attend that next hearing. If you do not attend, the judge will dismiss the Protection Order. The offender may also attend the 90-day hearing and be heard by the judge. If the court grants the 90-day protection order, the court will set another hearing date.
1 YEAR OR PERMANENT PROTECTION ORDER
A Protection Order can be issued for up to one year, and can be made permanent in some circumstances. You may request that a one-year Protection Order be renewed.
A violation of a Protection Order is a misdemeanor. You should report any violation of a Protection Order to the police.
Always keep a copy of the most current and valid Protection Order with you.