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Get a Protective Order

El Paso County CourthouseGetting a protective order is one tool you can use in putting a stop to a partner who is abusive.  It is not a guarantee of safety, but it can send a serious message to your abusive partner that you are not going to let yourself.

What is a Protective Order?

A protective order is a legal order from a judge that sets strong limits on the abuser’s contact with you.  It can be a very powerful tool because it is enforceable by criminal arrest. 

While every state is different, in Texas the judge can do the following things in a protective order:

  1. order the abuser not to commit acts of violence against you or threaten you with violence;
  2. order the abuser to stay away from your home, school or work;
  3. order the abuser not to communicate with you in a threatening or harassing way;
  4. order the abuser to move out, if you live together.  You can even request that a police officer come to your home when the abuser comes to get his stuff;
  5. order the abuser to attend counseling;
  6. give you temporary possession of any children you have with the abuser, and order that visits with the children be supervised if the children have also been abused.

How do I get a Protective Order?

You have to apply for a protective order in order to get one.  Only a judge can give you a protective order.  It is against the law for you to be charged any cost to apply for a protective order.  Here are the steps you should take if you believe you are in danger and want to apply for a protective order:

  1. Notify the police during or immediately after an incident of abuse or harassment.  This will help build your case in court.
  2. Because a protective order application is a lawsuit, notice must be given to the abuser.  Make sure you have an address where the abuser can be given notice, either at home or work.  If the abuser is under the age of 18, notice must be given to his or her parents. 
  3. Gather evidence of the abuse.  Have a friend take a picture if you have any injuries; save any threatening text messages, Facebook messages or voicemails and get the names and addresses of any witnesses to the incident of abuse.
  4. Go to the County Attorney’s Office to apply for a protective order.  The County Attorney’s Office has two locations where they accept applications for protective orders.  The addresses are:

    El Paso County Courthouse500 E. San Antonio, Room 503 
    El Paso, Texas
    Telephone: (915) 546-2153 
    Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m 
    Monday through Friday 
    View Google Map

    County of El Paso Yselta Annex9521 Socorro Road, Suite A-3
    El Paso, Texas
    Telephone: (915) 858-2239
    Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m
    Monday through Friday
    View Google Map

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