A stalking protection order is a civil court order that is designed to protect you from a stalker by ordering him/her to stop following you and threatening you. Even though you use the same petition as a protective order for domestic abuse to file for a stalking order, you do not need to have a “family or household member” relationship with the stalker in order to file for a protection order against him/her (although if you do have that type of relationship, you could still apply for this order).* Basically, you could apply against anyone who is stalking you.
There are two types of stalking protective orders available:
1.Emergency ex parte protective order and
2.Final order of protection.
An emergency ex parte protective order is a short-term protection order that is granted because a judge decides it is necessary to protect you from immediate and present danger of stalking. It is granted after a hearing the same day you file the petition. This can be done without the stalker’s knowledge or presence at the hearing. This protective order will remain in effect until after a full hearing is conducted for the final order of protection, which usually takes place within 20 days.**
A final order or protection offers more extensive protection and for a longer period of time than the emergency ex parte protective order. A final order of protection can only be issued after a court hearing in which you and the stalker have both had a chance to tell your side of the story and present evidence, witnesses, etc. A final order lasts three years but you may be able to have it extended at the end of the order.*** You may want to have a lawyer present at your hearing, especially if you believe the stalker will have one. For free legal referrals, please feel free to call us for help in finding a lawyer who can help you deal with this situation.