Protective Orders Procedures
The Clerk of the Court or other person designated by the Court will assist an applicant in completing and filing an application, affidavit, and other papers necessary to initiate an application for a temporary or extended order. Such information and assistance is provided free of costs if you cannot afford the service and filing fees. The Court has discretion to assess costs and fees against either party, apportion them between the parties, reduce, or waive them as justice requires.
The application must be in writing, stating specific facts which show that an act of domestic violence has occurred or is clearly threatened. The application must be verified, that is, it must be made under oath, or affirmation, subject to the penalties of perjury, and/or filing false documents with the Court.
The Court has discretion whether to grant a temporary / extended order, and may require the applicant or the adverse party, or both, to appear in Court, before determining whether to grant an order.
A temporary order may be granted with or without a hearing being scheduled, this is at the discretion of the Court. An extended order may only be granted after notice to the adverse party and a hearing on the application is held. The Court will rule upon an application for temporary order within one day, excluding weekends and holidays, after the application has been filed with the Court.
After an order is issued by the Court, it must be personally served upon the adverse party in order to have legal effect. The Court also sends the local law enforcement agencies a copy of the order, and may require the local law enforcement agency to serve the adverse party if it finds such service is necessary to avoid any act of violence. The Clerk of the Court will provide, without fee, a copy of the temporary / extended order to the applicant and adverse party.
Any time that a Court issues a temporary or extended order and any time that a person serves such an order, registers such an order or receives any information or takes any other action pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes 33.017 to 33.100, inclusive, he shall cause to be transmitted, in the manner prescribed by the central repository for Nevada records of criminal history, any information required by the repository in a manner which ensures that the information is received by the central repository by the end of the next business day.
The Right to Proceed Without Legal Counsel
Any applicant has the right to seek a temporary/extended order without the assistance of a lawyer. However, persons are strongly advised to obtain legal advice, since there may be legal problems arising out of the fact of the case or the kind of relief sought.
Further, a temporary / extended order may in some circumstances arise out of an action for a divorce, annulment, separate maintenance, other available civil or criminal actions.
Finally, although the Clerk of the Court will assist in completing and filing the application and affidavit, the law forbids the Clerk from rendering any advice or service that requires the professional judgment of an attorney.
Qualifications of Applicant
The 1985 Nevada Legislature has provided a procedure allowing persons, in specified circumstances, to obtain Court protection against domestic violence. The following is a summary setting forth who may obtain Court protection, when such protection is available, and what may be granted by the Justice Court to prevent domestic violence.
Under the law, "domestic violence," occurs if a person has a specific domestic relationship to the victim of the unlawful act. Both conditions must be met before the protection of the Court can be granted.
List 'A' specifies the unlawful acts barred by the law, and List 'B' specifies the relations protected against such conduct:
List A: (Unlawful Acts)
- Battery: Any harmful or offensive touching of another, which is committed purposely, or intentionally.
- Assault: The unlawful attempt to commit a battery upon another.
- Coercion: The act of compelling another by force, or threat of force to perform an act from which that person has the right to refrain or compelling another to refrain from an act which that person has the right to perform.
- Sexual Assault: The unlawful sexual penetration of another person.
- Persecution: Any knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct to harass another person.
- False Imprisonment: The unlawful confinement or detention of another without sufficient legal authority.
- Unlawful Entry: Entry into the residence of another or forcible entry into a residence against the other's will, if there is a reasonable foreseeable risk of harm created by the entry.
List B: (Relationships)
An unlawful act listed above must be threatened or have been committed upon or against the following:
- A blood relative
- A person related by marriage to the perpetrator
- A person who either
- (a) Has a child in common with the perpetrator and/or
- (b) Who is, or was actually residing with the perpetrator
- A dating relationship
Upon proper application to the Justice Court, the Judge may issue a temporary, or extended order for protection against domestic violence, although the Court will usually issue a temporary order, and then an extended order, should the applicant require one.
The Court by a temporary order may;
Forbid, under penalty of law, the adverse party from threatening, physically injuring, or harassing the applicant and/or minor child(ren), either directly or through an agent.
Exclude the adverse party from the applicant's place of residence.
Prohibit the adverse party from entering the residence, school or place of employment of the applicant and/or minor child(ren), and order him to stay away from places frequented regularly by them.
Order such protection as the Court deems necessary in an emergency situation.
The Judge specifies the duration of the temporary order, but it cannot exceed THIRTY DAYS, however, if an application for an extended order is filed with the Court within the effective period of the temporary order, the temporary order remains in effect until a hearing on the extended order is held.
The adverse party has the right to apply to the Court to vacate or modify the order, at which time a hearing would be set, as soon as possible. The applicant may also apply to the Court to vacate or modify the order.
The Court by an extended order may grant any relief listed for a temporary order, PLUS
Order the adverse party to avoid or limit communication with the applicant and/or minor child(ren).
Order the adverse party to pay rent or make payments on a mortgage to the applicant's place of residence.
Require the adverse party to pay all or a portion of the costs and service fees incurred by the applicant in bringing the action about.
An extended order is effective until the date specified by the Court in the order, but not to exceed one year.
The terms of the order may be appealed within five days, by the adverse party, to the District Court, which may affirm, modify or vacate the order in question. An appeal however, does not postpone or cancel the legal effect or enforcement of the order until it is decided by the District Court.
The court recommends all parties involved in a domestic violence situation should seek a friend who understands. The Winnemucca Domestic Violence Services (WDVS) has volunteers there to help you 24 hours a day.