Difference Between No Contact Orders and Civil Protection Orders Issued by Idaho Courts.

I am frequently asked questions about civil protection orders and no contact orders issued by Idaho courts.  Some people call these ‘restraining orders’. It has been my experience that a lot of people confuse the two and are consequently severely confused about the situation that they are facing.  Some of the confusion stems from the fact that both typically originate from domestic violence, stalking, or harassment allegations, and they both have the affect of prohibiting contact between the parties involved.   This blog primarily focuses on comparing civil protection orders and no contact orders to correct some common misconceptions.  For a more a detailed discussion of each please refer to my blogs dealing separately with the no contact orders and the civil protection orders.

First, I want to make it clear that civil protection orders are different from no contact orders.  Civil protection orders and no contact orders have similar goals – to alleviate the danger of violence, harassment and intimidation and to deter criminal behavior.  However, the two are very different.  If a no contact order is issued, it is always issued as a part of a pending criminal case and is issued under the same case number as the criminal case.  Typically, in a case involving the allegations of domestic violence, assault or battery, the prosecutor will request that the judge issues a no contact order preventing the defendant from contacting or approaching the alleged victim of the crime and the alleged victim’s place of residence.  At that time the judge will hear the arguments from the prosecutor and the defense counsel and decide whether to issue a no contact order and what protections are appropriate given the allegations and the arguments made by each party.

Civil protection orders are issued by Idaho courts upon sworn application by the person seeking a civil protection order (Petitioner).  The prosecutor is not involved in obtaining a civil protection order – if you want a civil protection order you will have to obtain it yourself or hire an attorney to assist you in the process. There is no need for a criminal case to exist before a civil protection order can be obtained.  The person seeking a civil protection order must sign a sworn petition for a protection order, alleging the conduct on the part of the person that they seek protection from (Respondent).  If the petition contains sufficient allegations, a temporary ex parte order is expeditiously granted without a hearing on the merits of the allegations.  A hearing on the matter is set within 14 days from filing of the petition.  At that hearing the parties will present their case to the judge who will decide whether to grant the protections sought by the Petitioner.

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