What is a protective order?
A protective order is a legal document signed by a judge that prohibits the person against whom it issued from:
• committing further acts of family violence, sexual assault or stalking;
• harassing or threatening a victim, either directly or indirectly, or by communicating a threat through another person;
• going to or near a school or daycare center that a child protected under the order attends; or
• going to or near a victim's residence or place of employment.
Where do I go to file for a protective order?
You may file an application for a protective order at the El Paso County Attorney's Office, Family Protective Order Unit, located at the El Paso County Courthouse, 500 E. San Antonio, Room 503, (telephone number (915) 546-2153). The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. In addition, the County Attorney has two satellite offices where protective orders can be filed. They are located at the following locations:
Ysleta Annex Office
9521 Socorro Rd. Suite A-3
El Paso, Texas 79927
Phone (915) 858-2239
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm (closed from noon to 1o'clock)
Northeast Annex Office
4641 Cohen St. Suite D
El Paso, Texas 79924
Phone (915) 759-7990
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm (closed from noon to 1 o'clock)
Northwest Annex Office
435 E. Vinton Rd., Suite B
Vinton, Texas 79821
Phone (915) 886-1076
Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Who Can Apply For A Protective Order?
• Biological parents of the same child
• Members or former members of the same household
• Persons who have or have had a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature
• In-law (related by marriage)
• Relative (related by blood)
• Individuals who need a protective order because of the threat of imminent physical harm because of their marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the person posing the threat is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage
• Victims of sexual assault
• Victims of stalking
How to Apply?
You are required to complete an application in person, providing information about yourself, as well as information regarding the person against whom you want a protective order. In addition, an intake interview will be conducted to determine if your circumstances meet the legal requirements for a protective order. You can request a protective order at any of the offices of the County Attorney.
What do you need to bring with you?
In order to process your application, you must provide the following:
• A current state picture I.D. OR a person with a current state picture I.D. who can identify you
• A current and complete address where the person against whom you are filing can be served. A protective order CANNOT be issued against a person without that person being served
• Any photos of injuries, if any
• A statement describing the incidents of violence that have occurred will be obtained from you. (this is included in your application)
Protective Order Procedure
Upon you appearing in person at any of the County Attorney's offices, an application will be provided and an intake interview will be conducted. If your application is accepted for filing, all documentation will be prepared and filed and a court setting will be secured. If there is a clear and present danger of violence, sexual assault or stalking, a temporary protective order may be secured on your behalf the same day you apply. Thereafter, a final hearing will be scheduled, usually within 14 days.
How Long Does a Protective Order Last?
A temporary protective order is in effect from the time it is issued until the time of the final hearing, although it is not enforceable by arrest until after it is served on the respondent. A final protective order is usually in effect for up to two years from the date it is issued. In some circumstances, a protective order may be issued for longer than two years.
Emergency Protective Orders?
An emergency protective order may only be issued by a magistrate when a defendant is arrested for a criminal offense involving family violence, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault or stalking.
Emergency protective orders may be requested by the victim of the offense, the guardian of the victim, a peace officer or the attorney representing the state. In addition, a magistrate may issue an emergency protective order on his own motion.
An emergency protective order is effective immediately upon issuance and may be in effect for up to 91 days from the date it was issued. Most emergency protective orders prohibit the same behaviors than a protective order issued through the family court prohibits.
What the Protective Order Will Not Do?
• A protective order will not order the abuser to stay a certain distance from your body!!
• A protective order is not a bulletproof vest or safety shield. You must be careful and take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
• A protective order is not a substitute for court-ordered visitation or custody.
What if the Respondent Violates the Order?
If a respondent violates certain provisions of a protective order, it is a criminal offense. The respondent may be arrested and criminal charges may be brought against him by the District Attorney's Office, located on the second floor of the El Paso County Courthouse, 500 E. San Antonio, Room 503, El Paso, Texas. For more information you may contact the District Attorney's Office at (915) 546-2059.