The Lincoln Police Department would like to educate and inform the general public on the signs and symptoms of domestic violence and notify them of the resources available. This information is based on Nebraska law and designed to inform, not to advise. No person should ever apply or interpret the law without the aid of an attorney who knows the facts and may be aware of any changes in the law.
How do I know if I, or someone I love, is being abused?
- Go to National Domestic Violence Hotline's website.
- Questions are available on the website to assess if a relationship is physically, sexually or emotionally abusive. They also provide suggestions on how to assist a family member or friend that is being abused, give safety planning guidelines, and options for immigrant and deaf outreach.
- View domestic violence lethality and risk factors.
How can I learn more about the crime of stalking?
Did you Know?
Lincoln Police Department investigates
over 1800 cases of Domestic Assault per year.
Thirty-four percent of women homicide
victims are killed by their husbands,
ex-husbands or boyfriends.
(National Women Abuse Prevention Project)
Most batterers are masters of deception.
Few exhibit violent behavior to anyone
other than their victims. (FBI)
One in four women (25%) has experienced
domestic violence in her lifetime.
(Domestic Violence Resource Center)
In the state of Nebraska, any person who
commits domestic assault against a pregnant
woman shall be punished by the next
higher penalty. (Nebraska Legislature)
What is a domestic abuse protection order?
- A protection order is a court order issued to provide protection to a victim of domestic abuse. In order to qualify for a protection order for domestic abuse, the acts of abuse must be those in which the respondent (abuser) attempted to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury, with or without a deadly weapon, or placing, by physical menace, the petitioner (victim) or child of the petitioner in fear of imminent bodily injury.
How do I know if the relationship qualifies for a "domestic" abuse protection order?
- A victim of domestic abuse includes spouses or former
spouses, children, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons who have a child in common, and persons who are presently involved in a dating relationship with each other or who have been involved in a dating relationship with each other.
Can a child, under the age of 19, obtain a domestic abuse protection order?
- In the event the protection order is sought for a minor child, the petition should be filed by the parent, guardian, or next of kin of the minor child.
Is there a fee or cost for obtaining a domestic abuse protection order?
- There are no fees or costs associated with the request or service of a domestic abuse protection order. However, the court may assess fees if the court finds that the statements contained in the application were false and that the protection order was sought in bad faith.
How long is a protection order valid?
- Protection orders are valid for one year from the date of the protection order.
What is a "harassment" protection order?
- A harassment protection order is a court order
issued to a victim who has been harassed. In order to qualify for a harassment protection order, the petitioner (victim) must show that the respondent (abuser) has engaged in a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at the petitioner which seriously terrifies, threatens, or intimidates the petitioner (victim).
How long does the harrassment need to have occurred?
- A course of conduct is defined as a series of acts over a period of time, however short, of following, detaining, restraining the personal liberty of, or stalking, telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner (victim).
Is there a fee or cost for obtaining a harassment
- There are no fees or costs associated with the request or service of a harassment protection order. However, the court may assess fees if the court finds that the statements contained in the application were false and that the protection order was sought in bad faith.
How do I obtain a domestic abuse protection order or a harassment protection order?
1. Protection orders are issued through district court. The law allows you to file the order without an attorney. Standard forms are available at the district court clerk's office, your local domestic violence or Victim/Witness Program or on the Nebraska Judicial Branch website. The Lancaster County District Court is located at 575 S. 10th Street, 3rd floor of the Hall of Justice and Law Enforcement Center, (402) 441-7328.
2. You will be required to complete forms for either a domestic abuse protection order or a harassment protection order. The forms will require specific information, such as dates, times and locations of recent abusive or stalking incidents, explaining why you are requesting the order. The district court is not required to help you complete the forms but assistance is available through local domestic violence and/or Victim Witness programs.
3. Once the forms are completed, they are submitted to the Clerk of the District Court. Then they are reviewed by a judge who will make a determination if there is enough evidence to issue a protection order. There are 3 possible outcomes the judge has:
- a. To deny the protection order request which means that your application is NOT granted and there is no protection order.
b. To grant an exparte protection order, which means your application is granted immediately by the court, however the order is not enforceable until the respondent has been served with the protection order. The Sheriff's Office has 14 days to serve the protection order to the respondent. If service is unsuccessful, the protection order is returned to the Clerk of the District Court and becomes not in effect due to the lack of service.
c. To schedule a show cause hearing for your application, usually to be held within 14 days of your request. Prior to the hearing, the protection order is NOT in effect. At the hearing, the judge will review your application and gets input from both the petitioner and the respondent and then decides to grant or deny the request for the protection order.
4. The law requires a hearing for all domestic abuse
protection orders. If an ex parte domestic abuse
protection order is granted, a hearing will be held
within 30 days after the service of the ex parte order.
The date of the hearing is set by the court. If an ex
parte order is not granted, the court will schedule a
hearing immediately and the hearing must be held
within 14 days of the filing of the petition.
If a hearing is scheduled and the respondent has
notice but fails to show, the court (should) enter a
final protection order rather than continue the
hearing. The court is responsible for setting the
hearing times and notifying the petitioner and
respondent. The respondent will also be notified that
it may be unlawful under federal law for the
respondent to possess any firearm or ammunition.
5. Once you have submitted your application for a protection order, it is your responsibility to contact the Clerk of the District Court
at (402) 441-7328 to find out about the status of your application.
6. If your exparte protection order is granted, it is your responsibility to call the Sheriff's Office
at (402) 441-7724 to find out if the exparte protection order has been served to the respondent.
7. If you have questions about protection orders, please contact the Lincoln Police Department Victim/Witness Unit
at (402) 441-7181 between 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
8. A protection order is not a cure-all. You must still be careful. If you expect the respondent to abide by and follow the protection order, you must adhere to the conditions of the order as well. If it is necessary to amend the order, you should contact an attorney or request a modification from the judge who signed the original protection order.
9. If the respondent continues to making prohibited contact with you, directly or indirectly, at your home, place of work, or any other place, after the protection order has been entered, please contact the police at (402) 441-6000 or in an emergency contact 911 for immediate assistance.