A protective order is also referred to as a restraining order
These are orders from the court that the respondent not have contact with the petitioner. There are three stages, with the final stage possibly resulting what is known as a permanent protective order, which can last up to two years. The petitioner must show that the respondent has placed him or her in a reasonable apprehension of harm.
Historically, protective orders applied to domestic situations, victims of domestic violence sought them regularly, and still do. These cases are heard in the juvenile and domestic relations district court. We have handled countless cases like these. Generally, there is a female petitioner and male respondent, but that is not necessary.
There can be male petitioners, and same-sex couples are eligible as well. These cases often come down to one person's version of events against the other's, and we have significant experience in showing that our client's version of events is the one the court should adopt. Photographic evidence is often important, and we take the time to review all the evidence to determine what exhibits are needed.
With a recent change in the law, protective orders can now be sought in the general district court for people without any relationship to one another. The standard is still the same, specifically that the petitioner must have a reasonable apprehension of harm from the respondent. All the same defenses still apply, and it often comes down to one person's word against another's.