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What Happens After You Get a Protective Order

Protective Orders

This article provides information on what to do after the court grants you a protective order.

Learn more about what happens after you are granted a protective order and what you need to do.

What happens right after the protective order is granted?

The judge will sign your protective order. You should then take your signed order to the clerk. Ask for copies of your order (or make extra copies). 

Do I need to keep a copy of the protective order with me?

Yes! You should always keep copies of the protective order with you, it is easier for law enforcement when you can produce the order when asked. 

Should I tell my school and employer?

Yes. You should give a copy of the protective order to your school and your employer. If the other person violates the order, your school and employer can contact the police. 

Should I tell my neighbors?

Leave a copy of the protective order with a trusted neighbor. If the respondent comes to a protected location, it is a violation of the order even if you are not there, and your neighbors can report the violation to the police. 

How do I know if the respondent has violated the protective order?

You must review your protective order and know what the order says. If the order states that they cannot go near your home and you see them or find out through a neighbor that they have done so, that violates the protective order. If they are not allowed to contact you, then even a text or a message through a family member or friend can be considered a violation.  

Make sure you know the terms of your protective order. If you are unsure about what your protective order says, contact an attorney who can help you understand your order. 

What happens if the respondent violates the protective order?

If the respondent violates the order, call 911 immediately. Take pictures and keep records of any evidence that will help you prove they violated the order. You should also call the agency or attorney that assisted you in getting the protective order and notify them. When you report a violation of the protective order to the police, be sure to get an offense report number from law enforcement. A person can be arrested, face criminal charges, and be fined if they violate a protective order. 

Is my Texas protective order enforceable in another state?

Yes. If your Texas protective order is violated in a different state, the respondent will be punished according to the laws of that state. The federal law provides “full faith and credit,” which allows for a protective order to be enforceable and protect you wherever you are in the United States. You should familiarize yourself with your new state's laws and register your protective order in the new county where you live. 

Is my protective order from another state enforceable in Texas?

Yes.  You should bring a copy of the order to law enforcement in Texas (in the county you live) so they can enter it into the state database. However, even if you do not complete this step the out-of-state order and its terms are still enforceable in Texas. 

How long will the protective order last?

The length of a protective order can vary. The length of a protective order can range from a few months to a lifetime. It is important that you review your protective order and know when it will expire.  

How do I extend the protective order?

If the expiration date is approaching and you want to extend it, make sure you contact an attorney to help you extend it before it expires. It is important to request this extension before the order expires. Do not wait until the order is nearing its expiration date to request an extension. Before it expires, you can file to renew a current order by filing a Motion for Renewal of Protection Order. A judge will decide at a hearing whether or not to extend the protection order. 

If your order is expired, you will need to go through all the original steps of filing for an order and attach the expired one to the application. 

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