Domestic Violence

NOTE: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes and are designed to help you in representing yourself. Please carefully review the directions and resources available to improve your performance in your case. Failure to read and follow the instructions may adversely impact your case. If you have any questions, please consult with an attorney.


A 50B Domestic Violence Protective Order provides that victims of domestic violence can get an order of protection from the court. Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (“50B”, restraining orders, or DVPO’s) are civil orders limiting the contact a person may have with a victim and the statutes provide for two types:

  1. Ex Parte Order: 
An emergency order, also called an Ex Parte Order, is available if there is a danger of serious and immediate injury to you or to a minor child. Once an Ex Parte order is filed with the Clerk of Court, you will be required to appear before a judge to explain the need for an order of protection.  The defendant will not be present at this hearing. If a magistrate/judge finds that there is danger to the victim or a minor child, the magistrate/judge can issue an Emergency Ex Parte Order of Protection with any orders against the defendant he/she feels is necessary to protect the victim or the minor child. Such an order is good for 10 days.  

    How Does the Ex Parte Process Work? If the Ex Parte motion is filed before noon (12pm), it will typically be heard that day without giving notice to the defendant.  If it is filed after noon, it will typically be heard the following day without giving notice to the defendant.  If a judge/ magistrate hears your request for Ex Parte relief, the judge/magistrate’s order is valid for only a short period of time and a second temporary order must be issued by a judge.  If the judge/magistrate issues an Ex Parte Order, another hearing will be held after the defendant is given notice.  If no Ex Parte Order is entered, a hearing will still be held after the defendant is given notice.  At the second hearing date, the court will consider whether to grant a protection order lasting one year. 

  2. No Ex Parte Order  
If you do not wish to file for an Ex Parte Order, you may file the complaint and receive a hearing date in the future.  The defendant will be able to attend this hearing date.  The length of the protective order considered at this hearing will be for one year. 



After you get the packet, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!  Then fill out the forms by typing or printing neatly in ink.  You may fill them out at home or at the courthouse.  Please read the forms carefully as some have a “Verification” page. This means that they MUST be signed in the presence of a Notary Public.  If the document does require verification, do not sign it until you are in front of a Notary.  There is a Notary Public on the first floor of the 26th Judicial District Building (832 E. Fourth St) in the Sheriff’s Office.  Also, they can be likely found at banks, insurance agencies and law firms.  A few may also be found in the Yellow Pages.  Notaries often charge a small fee and require you to show a picture ID for their services.  Be sure to have your documents already notarized when you take them to the Clerk’s Office to file.



This packet describes the general process, but it is impossible to cover everything that may affect your rights.  If you get confused during the process, you should stop and get advice from an attorney.  Judges, Clerk of Court, SelfServe Center staff or the Trial Court Administrator’s Office CANNOT give you legal advice.


Filing Instructions
For step-by-step instructions, go to Domestic Violence Filing Process