What is a Protective Order?
A Protective Order:
- Orders a person not to commit any more family violence
- Orders a person not to come within a certain distance of where the victim lives and works and of the victim's children, their home, school, day care, or baby sitter
- Orders a person not to communicate with the victim
- Prevents a person from harassing, annoying, alarming, abusing, tormenting or embarrassing the victim or any member of the victim's family or household
- If you are still living together, requires the perpetrator to move out
Who is Entitled to a Protective Order?
The person who committed the family violence against the victim must be at least on of the following:
- Related to the victim by blood or marriage
- Currently living with the victim or must have lived with them at some time
- Someone with whom the victim has had a child
- Someone the victim has or had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature
- Someone that sexually assaults the victim
- Someone of a third party interest; because of the victim's marriage to or dating relationship with an individual whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage
How to Apply
The Protective Order Division is located at the Bexar County Family Justice Center, 126 East Nueva, 2nd Floor, San Antonio, Texas 78204. Either the application and/or the actor need to reside in Bexar County, Texas to be eligible to apply.
You will be required to fill out a simple application form giving us information on yourself and the person you are making the complaint against (the actor). If you cannot fill out the application, we will help do it for you.
An Advocate (interviewer) will take you in their office and gather all the facts and information regarding your case. They will assist you with any questions you may have about the criminal justice system throughout the protective order and judicial process.
You will also be referred to various agencies for appropriate services.
Information We Need From You
In order to provide you with a Protective Order, we need the following:
- A form of identification (driver's license, ID, military/school ID, etc.)
- Police report case numbers you may have. We will obtain this for you if you do not have.
- A statement that we take from you describing what type of violence occurred.
- A current address on the actor/perpetrator.
Protective Order Procedures
Once the application has been approved, a protective order hearing will be scheduled in 2 weeks to give the Sheriff's Office time to serve the perpetrator. Once granted, a protective order lasts up to two (2) years.
The Sheriff's Office will hand deliver the paperwork to the actor. The paperwork consists of an application for the protective order, the sworn statement you signed in our office describing the violence, and a Temporary Ex Parte Order to keep the perpetrator from bothering you until the hearing date. This includes keeping the actor away from your residence and place of employment.
If the perpetrator is served, you will need to go to court. A prosecutor and an advocate will go with you to court to represent you and answer all your questions.
If the actor agrees to leave you alone, an Agreed Protective Order will be issued. If he or she does not show, you automatically get a Protective Order by default. If he or she denies the charges, a hearing will be held in front of a Judge who will decide if you get the Protective Order.
Once you receive the Protective Order, the actor may be arrested if he or she bothers you or goes near your residence. However, if the actor is not delivered (served) the papers, upon your request and with a valid address, the case may be reset again for two (2) weeks, and again, if necessary.
Bexar County Family Justice Center
The Protective Order Division has relocated to the Bexar County Family Justice Center, located at: 126 East Nueva, 2nd Floor, San Antonio, TX 78204.
At the Bexar County Family Justice Center you will have the opportunity to receive services from other agencies. Services include: shelter, transitional housing, utility assistance, counseling, spiritual guidance, civil legal services, medical care, financial assistance, food, and more. The Family Justice Center provides childcare and transportation services as well. For more information please call the Family Justice Center at 210-631-0100 or visit the Family Justice Center website.