If threats or behavior from your current or former spouse, ex-spouse, or other domestic partner causes you to fear for your safety or the safety of your children, you have the right to file a Temporary Protective Order or TPO in the state. If the judge determines based on your testimony or any other evidence presented in court that you or your family are in danger, they can issue a Temporary Protective Order for up to 30 days. In cases where the extended orders for protection are filed at the same time, the TPO will remain in effect until the date of the extended order hearing. The extended protection order is valid for up to a year.
Temporary Protective Orders may, as ordered by the judge, prevent your abuser or a third party working with the abuser from further harassing you or your family. They may prohibit the abuser from entering your home, work, your children’s school, or other specific places. OSTs can give you temporary control over your children and prevent the abuser from taking possession, causing physical harm, or threatening to harm any animal that belongs to you, the abuser, or your children. The TPO may also offer other necessary protections at the discretion of the judge.
To be eligible for a protective order Houston, you or your children must have been victims of domestic violence. In Houston, domestic violence includes assault, beating, sexual assault, or the use of threats to force you to do something against your will or to prevent you from doing something. It also covers doing any of the following with intent to harass you: trespassing, stalking, wounding or killing an animal, destroying private property, stealing, carrying a hidden weapon without permission, being falsely imprisoned, illegally entering your home while you are absent, or by force have entered your home to harm you. To classify these acts as domestic violence, the acts must be committed by a person with whom you have a special relationship.
How to obtain?
TPO can be obtained by completing or asking your lawyer to file an application with the court. The applications are available on the Internet, as well as in district and magistrates courts. You must sign a statement before the court clerk and at the same time file a petition detailing the most recent incident or incidents of violence. Be as specific as possible. Tell the court clerk if you want certain personal information in the petition, such as your current address, to be hidden from the abuser. The judge will review your application and may ask you to personally answer additional questions before giving the order. If your TPO request is approved, the court officer will give the abuser a copy of the order so that he or she is aware of the order’s limitations.