Protective Orders

If you have been a victim of violence, stalking or sexual abuse, you can apply for a protective order to keep your abuser away from you.

A protective order is a lawsuit filed in family court that protects you from someone who has been violent or threatened to be violent.

They are generally granted for two years but can be longer.

Download Protection Order Application - English

Download Protection Order Application - Spanish

The order can include that the respondent:

  • Not hurt or threaten you;
  • Stay away from you, your family, your home, workplace, and children’s daycare or school;
  • Not contact you or go near you, your children, other family relatives, your pets, your home, where you work, or your children’s schools;
  • Not have a gun or a license to carry a gun; and
  • Not to track or monitor your personal property or car, or a member of your family or household, by using a tracking device or physically following you directly or through another person.

If the Respondent violates a protective order, they can be arrested and charged with a criminal offense.

You cannot be charged a fee for filing, serving, entering a protective order, or for getting additional certified copies of the order. The court may order that the respondent pay any attorney fees (if applicable), and all other fees, charges or expenses incurred in connection with the protective order.

Read more about family violence protective orders in Texas Family Code 85.001.

To contact the Protective Orders Section, please call 713-274-0212 or email [email protected]

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-SAFE (7233)

24-Hour Suicide Prevention Call or text 988

Walk-in Resources

If this is an emergency, call 911

AnNisa Hope Center
7100 Regency Square Blvd. #290, Houston 77036

Bay Area Turning Point
210 Walnut St., Webster 77598

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters
2811 Allen-Genoa Road, Pasadena 77504

Crisis Intervention of Houston
5322 W. Bellfort Ave., Houston 77035
Phone: 832-416-1199
Text: 281-201-4430


Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center
1203 S. Houston Ave., Humble 77338

Houston Area Women's Center
3077 El Camino St., Houston 77054

Katy Christian Ministries
3506 Porter Road, Katy 77493

Montrose Center
401 Branard St., Houston 77006

  • How can I obtain a protective order?


    To obtain a protective order, you will first meet with a specially trained domestic violence caseworker or social worker who will assist you with documenting a statement and preparing a file for review by a domestic violence prosecutor. Upon prosecutor approval, an application is filed in family court. You will then receive a letter regarding a court date. It is imperative to attend the court hearing in person or your case may be dismissed.

    Here's a link to the building.

  • What are the requirements to obtain a protective order?


    • Either you or the respondent (abuser) must live in Harris County OR the violence occurred in Harris County
    • There is/was a dating, family, or household relationship with the respondent, including current spouses, former spouses, blood relatives, people related by marriage, parents of the same child, household members or people who dated.
    • That the respondent was personally served. This is why we must have a physical address for respondent. The respondent can be served at home, at work, in jail or during a court date.
    • That family violence, stalking or sexual assault occurred. Family violence means that you were assaulted (hitting, kicking, punching, hair pulling, slapping, punching, strangulation, shooting, stabbing, forcing to have sex, etc.) and/or that you were threatened with violence (the respondent said they would kill you, hit you, pointed a gun at you, etc.).


  • What should I bring with me to file a protective order?


    • Picture I.D.
    • Names and contact information for any witnesses
    • Address for the Respondent
    • Evidence (pictures, recordings, medical records, or anything you may think is important to know)
  • How quickly will I get a protective order?


    It may take three to five weeks to obtain a protective order. A protective order is a lawsuit that is filed in family court and must be reviewed and issued by a judge. You must appear in court and provide testimony. Each survivor will receive safety information and options to increase safety.

  • What is temporary (ex parte) order?


    If approved, a judge issues a temporary (ex-parte) protective order when a request for a final protective order is filed in court. It goes into effect when the respondent is served and expires after a certain amount of time. Police can arrest for violations after the respondent has been served with a temporary protective order.

  • What is a Magistrates Order of Emergency Protection (MOEP)?


    A MOEP can be requested once a defendant has been charged with a family violence crime and has been arrested. They can be requested by the victim, law enforcement or the prosecutor and is only issued if a criminal case has been filed. MOEPs are generally active for 61-91 days depending on the type of case filed and are active even if a criminal case is dismissed.

  • What can I do increase my safety?


    If you believe you are in immediate danger, call 911.

    • Choose a safe place to go if you leave your home.
    • Practice how to get out of your home safely by identifying which escape route is best.
    • Have a packed bag ready and keep it at the home of a close relative or friend.
    • Identify one or more neighbors who you can ask to call the police if they hear a disturbance coming from your home.
    • Devise a code word or signal to use with your children, family, friends and neighbors when you need the police.
    • If you believe an argument or incident is going to occur, leave if possible. If not, try to move to a room where you have access to an exit and/or a phone. Stay away from any room without an outside door or window or a room with items that could be used as weapons such as a kitchen or garage.
    • Use your own instincts and judgment. If the situation is very dangerous, do whatever is necessary to be safe. This may mean giving the abuser what he/she wants to calm him/her down.
    • If possible, keep your cell phone with you at all times.