File a Restraining Order in Texas Without a Lawyer
Your peace, security, and safety are of supreme importance. And you have the legal right to enjoy all this without fear. Absolutely, no one should make you live in fear of assault or attack, no matter who they are. But people are always people. Your current partner, annoying ex, or an outright stranger may start stalking, threatening, or abusing you physically, electronically, or verbally.
If you reside in Texas, you might need to acquire a Texas restraining order against them for your safety and peace of mind. If this feels like something familiar to what you're undergoing currently, DoNotPay can help you obtain a Texas protective order.
Understanding Texas Restraining Order
A Texas restraining order or protective order is a legal order issued by a TX magistrate ordering the accused from certain behaviors or actions towards the protected party. As the name suggests, the protective order is geared towards protecting the applicant and their children or household members from physical or emotional abuse from the aggressor.
If someone has hurt you before or has made known their intentions of hurting you, you should consider filing for a protective order. Typically, if a restraining order in Texas is issued, it directs the respondent:
- Not to physically hurt, threaten to harm, or harass the petitioner or their children mentioned in the order.
- Deter from contacting you or people protected by the order through email, text, phone calls, etc.
- Restrict the amount of physical distance they can legally keep near you, including at the workplace, children's school, daycare, etc.
- Can restrain the offender not to carry a gun regardless of having a gun license.
- May order the person to vacate the home where you live.
- It may contain clauses for child, spousal, or medical support.
- The TX judge issuing the order may require the defendant to attend a counseling or rehabilitation program, especially if the act was due to drug abuse.
Texas Restraining Order Laws
Like California, Florida, or any other state, Texas has its own laws on restraining orders. There are three categories of protective orders you can obtain against the offender in TX, each with with varying time limits:
|Type of Restraining Order||Description||Duration|
|Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order||This is a short-term restraining order issued by a Texas civil court upon your application. It provides you and people under threat from the accused with immediate protection before the formal hearing. Therefore, the defendant is not issued with a notice, nor do they need to appear in court, meaning that you must convince the court that you're under serious threat from the abuser if the order is delayed.||Temporary protective orders in Texas are up to 20 days, but can be extended for 20 days for eligible reasons.|
|Permanent or Final Protective Order||After serving the respondent with the court papers and, eventually, the hearing, the magistrate may issue a permanent restraining order.||The normal time limit for Texas restraining orders is 2 years, but this time may be extended for more serious cases. You can also apply for an extension 30 days before the expiry of the order. The abuser can also file a motion of nullification after one year.
However, if the person is behind bars for:
|Emergency Protection Order||Also known as the magistrate's protective order for emergency protection, this judgment emanates from a criminal court after your abuser is arrested for family violence, sexual assault/abuse, stalking, harassment, or any physical hurt. Apart from you, your guardian, police officer, or the prosecutor can request an emergency protection order.||It can last between 31 and 91 days.|
What Qualifies for a Restraining Order in TX?
In Texas, a family member, a guardian to a minor, or a minor who has a dating relationship with the abuser can file for a restraining order. Basically, if you believe any person is a threat to your safety, you can request a restraining order. This includes stalking (including cyber-stalking), indecent texts/calls/email, threats, history of abuse (physical or sexual), harassment, damage to personal property, etc.
Filing for a Protective Order in Texas
After deciding that a restraining order in TX is the best course of action to deter your aggressor from imminent acts or behavior, the next step is to make a formal court filing. However:
- The filing must be done within your county or the county where the act was committed.
- If you have an awaiting divorce case or other types of a family lawsuit, file in that court or within your county, but notify the clerk of the pending case about the same.
Follow the following guide to file your restraining order in Texas.
- Go to the county or district attorney's office to obtain the necessary forms. You can also get the same from a private attorney or any legal aid program in your area.
- Fill out the forms appropriately. Before you sign, ensure the court clerk has confirmed and then sign and notarize the application.
- Wait for a hearing and determination of your case. If you request an ex parte protective order, the judge will decide whether it's viable. Otherwise, a court hearing date is set when the case is determined.
It's important to note that filing for a restraining order is free unless you have a private attorney who the court may order the respondent to pay if you win the case.
What Happens After TX Restraining Order Hearing?
After the court issues a protective order in Texas, the abuser is obligated to obey all the orders. The clerk will usually send the order to the respondent, the police department in your area of residence, and any other place/person mentioned in the petition (workplace, child daycare, etc.).
It's against Texas law for the abuser to violate anything specified in the protective order. However, if this happens, you'll need to report them, and they may face jail time or fines, or even both.
Obtain Texas Protective Order Easily With DoNotPay
It's worse to have anyone interfere with your life and peace. But it's terrible not to know how to protect yourself. You shouldn't have to go through a demanding process before getting help.
At DoNotPay, we're offering to eliminate your stress by guiding you through the Texas restraining order application process. We know every law that can work in your favor, no matter the county or state.
Here’s how to apply for a restraining order with the help of DoNotPay:
- Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay.
- Answer a few easy questions on our File a Restraining Order product.
- Submit the form and you're done!
And that's it! DoNotPay will compile for you the forms you need to fill out and give you detailed instructions on how to file for a restraining order in your jurisdiction. Stay safe!
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