Bill to clarify protection order process passed

Lawmakers passed a bill May 24 that updates application procedures for harassment, sexual assault and domestic abuse protection orders.

<a href='' target='_blank' title='Link to the website of Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh'>Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh</a>
Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

LB532, introduced by Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, harmonizes the application procedures for the three types of protection orders authorized under state law: harassment, sexual assault and domestic abuse.

If an application for a temporary protection order is dismissed, it will be dismissed without prejudice. This allows the petitioner for the protection order to correct any missing information and resubmit the application for consideration.

The petition for a protection order must include the events and dates, or approximate dates, of the alleged assault or abuse, including the most recent and most severe incidents.

The court where the petition is filed can decide to issue a temporary protection order “ex parte,” or without giving notice to the respondent, if the petitioner believes the respondent poses an immediate and significant safety risk.

If the court rejects an application for a sexual assault or domestic abuse protection order, LB532 requires that an evidentiary hearing be held within 14 days. The court will be required to admit the original petition and affidavit into evidence.

Finally, the petitioner for a protection order cannot be found to be in violation of his or her protection order.

The bill passed on a 47-0 vote.

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