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Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence?
Under Nevada law, domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon his spouse, former spouse, any other person to whom he is related by blood or marriage, a person with whom he is or actually was residing, a person with whom he has had or is having a dating relationship, a person with whom he has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons or his minor child: • Battery • Assault • Compelling the other person by force or the threat of force to perform an act that the other person has a right to refrain from performing or to refrain from performing an act that the other person has the right to perform • A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct that is intended to harass the other person. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, stalking; arson; trespassing; larceny; destruction of private property; or carrying a concealed weapon • False imprisonment • or Unlawful entry into the other person’s residence, or forcible entry into the other person’s residence against their will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry. (NRS 33.018(1))

A “dating relationship” refers to frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement. It does not include casual relationships or ordinary associations between people in a business or social context. (NRS 33.018(2)).

Can I get a court order to keep an abuser away from me?
Yes. To apply for an Order of Protection, you can go to the TPO office of the Washoe County Courthouse, One South Sierra Street, Room 308, Third Floor, Reno, NV 89520, telephone number (775) 328-3468 between the hours of 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday- Friday. Once you are there, you will fill out a verified written application application. A Protection Order Advocate can assist you if necessary. You will be interviewed by a Protection Order Advocate, who will conduct the initial screening of your case. After speaking with the advocate, you will be interviewed by either the hearing master or the judge, who will decide whether or not a temporary protection order should be issued. The court must either grant or deny your application within 24 hours, not counting weekends and holidays. (NRS 33.020). A T.P.O. can only be granted if the hearing master or judge finds that there is good cause to grant the order without first notifying the person who has been abusing you. If a T.P.O. is granted, it can last for up to 30 days.

If a T.P.O. is granted, you should obtain several copies of the order for yourself. You should also file a copy of the order with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, 911 Parr Boulevard, Reno, NV so that it can be served on the person who has been abusing you.

Although Nevada law mandates arrest by a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that an order of protection has been violated or who witnesses a violation, an officer will not arrest an abuser who is subject to an order of protection if the abuser has not received notice of the order. (NRS 171.137). If an arrest is made under NRS 171.137, the abuser will not be able to bail out of jail for at least twelve hours.

Can I get my T.P.O. extended?
Yes. Although it is up to the judge whether or not and for how long to extend a T.P.O., a T.P.O. can be extended for up to one year. This is called an Extended Order of Protection (E.P.O.). The abuser has to be notified of your application for an E.P.O. If you apply for an E.P.O., your T.P.O. will remain in effect until a hearing is held to determine whether you should be granted an E.P.O.

What kinds of things can be included in a T.P.O. or in an E.P.O.?
In a T.P.O., the judge can forbid your abuser from making any further threats against you, or from continuing to harass you or to injure you. The abuser can be ordered to leave or not to enter your shared home for a period of time. The court can prohibit the abuser from entering your place of employment, school, church or any other specified location. If the court has jurisdiction over your children, it can award you temporary legal custody of them. The court can also order relief that it considers necessary to deal with an emergency situation.
In addition to the remedies listed above, an E.P.O. can include the following types of relief:
Restrictions on the abuser’s ability to communicate with you and your children; An award of custody and a requirement that the abuser pay you child support; An order setting forth visitation arrangements and requiring visitation to be supervised by a third person if necessary; An order requiring the abuser to make rental or mortgage payments for your home; or An order requiring the abuser to pay all or part of the costs or fees (including restitution for injuries) you have incurred in obtaining the protection order.

What if the abuser violates my T.P.O. or E.P.O.?
Violation of a T.P.O. or E.P.O. is a misdemeanor that is punishable in civil court by a $500 fine and up to 25 days’ imprisonment, or in criminal court by a $1000 fine and up to 6 months’ imprisonment. If a crime is committed, the abuser could face additional criminal penalties. (NRS 33.100).

If You Are Being Abused, There Are Several Resources Available To Help You Break The Cycle Of Violence. They Include:

Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence
100 W. Grove Street, Suite 315,
Reno, NV 89509
Telephone (775) 828-1115
Fax (775) 828-9911
Information (800) 230-1955

Provides a 24-hour toll-free hotline for persons who need information about domestic violence issues, as well as information about shelters, advocacy and support groups.

Committee to Aid Abused Women (CAAW)
Telephone (775) 329-4150 (24-hr hotline)
Fax (775) 785-7550
Provides a variety of services, including a 24-hour emergency hotline; emergency shelter; emergency transportation, food and clothing; crisis counseling and referral; support groups; legal support and referrals; Protection Order Office at the Courthouse; community education and outreach; job development; preventive education and services through the Children’s Program; and a transitional housing program.

Protection Order Office
Washoe County Courthouse
One South Sierra St., Third Floor,
Room 308, Reno, NV 89520

Telephone (775) 328-3468

Hours: 9a.m.—3:30p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Assists victims in obtaining temporary
protective orders and extended protective orders.

Confidential Address Program
P.O. Box 2743
Carson City, NV 89702
Telephone (775) 684-5707
(888) 432-6189 (toll free)
Fax (775) 684-5718

Provides assistance to victims of domestic violence by giving them a fictitious address to use for mailing, service of process, state agency records, school registration records and voter registration.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Telephone (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
(800) 787-3224 (TTY)

Provides a 24-hour hotline as well as information about local resources that can assist victims of domestic violence.

This guide is an introduction to narrow topics of Nevada law. Keep in mind that federal, state and local laws are constantly subject to change. If you have a legal question or problem, you should consult an attorney.