In legal terms, there are several different types of no-contact orders that someone can obtain.
These are used to protect a victim from further harm if there have been allegations of sexual assault, harassment or domestic violence against them, to protect vulnerable adults, or as a condition of release pending a trial in a criminal case; they can also be part of a separate order in a criminal case.
What is a no contact order? A no-contact order outlines the ways in which an alleged defendant can conduct themselves with the victim, typically by prohibiting them from communication or from being physically near the victim.
What are the various types of no-contact orders?
Temporary no-contact orders
Temporary no-contact orders are immediate and do not require the defendant be present to have issued; this is called being issued “ex parte.” They are issued immediately by a judge to protect someone from the risk of harm. If you want to obtain a temporary no-contact order, it is granted by a judge on the same day that you make the civil complaint for the order. The defendant does not have the legal right to defend themselves when there is a temporary no-contact order hearing if the person seeking the order is in fear of their safety or if they believe that they are in immediate danger.
This is only a temporary order; it can last up to 10 days or until the court has an opportunity to summon the alleged perpetrator to be present at a hearing to defend themselves. A temporary no-contact order can be extended if there is cause, or if the respondent consents to it being held in place. But it’s important to know that the temporary no-contact order is not valid until or unless the defendant is actually served with the order itself.
Permanent no-contact order
A permanent no-contact order requires a full hearing where both the defendant and the plaintiff are allowed to be present. Once the alleged perpetrator is made aware of the no-contact order, they have the opportunity to show up in court to defend themselves.
During the hearing process, both parties will have the opportunity to state their case and to present evidence from witnesses or testimony to prove their side of the case. Regardless of whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, it is a good idea to have someone there to defend you or to help plead your case to keep you safe from harm going forward.
A permanent no-contact order can last as long as a year. If you want it to be extended past the one-year mark, then you will have to petition the court to do so before the initial no-contact order expires. The temporary no-contact order is set in place until the hearing can be conducted, and during that hearing the judge will decide if the temporary order should stand as a permanent order. They both offer the same protection; the only difference is how long they last and what type of proof you have to provide to make the order stand.
What does a no-contact order do?
A no-contact order limits how a person can contact you both physically and through communication methods. It can stop someone from visiting you in any way. It can ensure that a person is not allowed to harass or stalk you, either at home or at work. A no-contact order can reduce the risk that you will be harmed or injured, and it stops someone from being able to contact you via text, phone or any written communication including the internet.
To obtain a no-contact order of protection you need to file in the district court where you live. You can also file a no-contact order in the county where the person who is abusing you lives, or in the county where the abuse or unlawful act happened.
A no-contact order requires that you file a claim and go before the judge. A permanent no-contact order can be issued until a temporary one can take hold if the plaintiff is found guilty of abusing or stalking the victim.