How to Overturn a Protective Order in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

To fight a protective order in texas, you must file a motion to set aside the order within 20 days of being served. A protective order is issued to protect someone from harm or domestic violence.

It can also be used in cases of stalking, harassment or sexual assault. This article will help you understand how to fight a protective order in texas. Protective orders can have serious consequences, including losing the right to own a firearm, losing custody of your children or even facing criminal charges if you violate the order.

Therefore, it is important to seek legal counsel and understand your options if you have been served with a protective order.

How to Overturn a Protective Order in Texas: A Comprehensive Guide


Understanding Protective Orders

Definition And Types Of Protective Orders

In texas, a protective order is a court order that aims to keep a victim of family violence, stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking safe from future harm. The order requires the alleged abuser to refrain from contacting or threatening the victim, or coming near their home or workplace.

There are three types of protective orders that a court can issue in texas:

  • Emergency protective order (epo): An epo is given in urgent situations, such as before a formal hearing or when the court is closed. It lasts for up to 31-91 days and can be issued by a magistrate or a district judge.
  • Temporary ex parte protective order (tepo): A tepo is issued without the alleged abuser present and can be extended for up to two years with a formal hearing.
  • Final protective order (fpo): An fpo can be issued at the conclusion of a hearing and typically lasts for up to two years, although it can be for a longer period.

Grounds For Issuing A Protective Order In Texas

A protective order can be filed against someone who has committed family violence, which includes physical harm, sexual assault, or threat of imminent bodily harm, to any member of their household or family.

Other grounds for issuing a protective order in texas include:

  • Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct that causes fear or apprehension of harm to the victim.
  • Sexual assault: Any non-consensual sexual contact or penetration, regardless of the relationship between the parties.
  • Human trafficking: Inducing, compelling, or controlling an individual for the purpose of forced labor or sex.
  • Dating violence: Violence between individuals who have or have had a dating relationship.

Rights Of The Parties Involved In A Protective Order Case

In a protective order case, both the alleged abuser and the victim have certain rights. Both parties have the right to:

  • Hire an attorney or represent themselves in court.
  • Present evidence and testify.
  • Cross-examine witnesses.

The victim has additional rights, including the right to:

  • File a protective order without charge.
  • Request that their contact information be kept confidential.
  • Receive a copy of the protective order.
  • Have the order enforced by law enforcement.

The alleged abuser also has the right to:

  • Request a hearing.
  • Contest the allegations.
  • Be notified of the hearing and present their defense.

Understanding the definition and types of protective orders, the grounds for issuing one, and the rights of the parties involved in the case is crucial when seeking to overturn a protective order. By knowing these key points, you can work with your attorney to build a strong case and protect your rights.

Reasons For Overturning A Protective Order

Reasons For Wanting To Overturn A Protective Order

Protective orders are legal documents that restrict someone from approaching or contacting another person. They are typically granted to protect victims of domestic violence, harassment, or stalking. However, in some cases, protective orders may be experienced as an inconvenience or as an unjust constraint.

Here are some reasons why someone might want to overturn a protective order:

  • The protected party has changed their mind about the order
  • The order was granted in error
  • The protected party lied to the court
  • The order restricts parental rights
  • The order prevents the respondent from going to work or from living their life

Valid Reasons For Appealing A Protective Order

Appealing a protective order can be legally complex and time-consuming, so it’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney before taking any action. Here are some valid reasons for appealing a protective order:

  • The order was granted in violation of due process rights
  • The evidence presented did not justify the issuance of the protective order
  • The order is too broad or ambiguous and should be more narrowly tailored to the specific situation
  • The order was issued on the basis of false statements or perjured testimony
  • The order violates the respondent’s constitutional rights

Common Misconceptions About Protective Orders

Protective orders are a legal mechanism to help protect people at risk of harm, but they are also frequently misunderstood. Here are some common misconceptions about protective orders that people should be aware of:

  • Protective orders are automatically lifted after a certain period of time – this is not true. Protective orders can only be lifted by a court order.
  • Protective orders are only granted in cases of physical violence – this is not true. Protective orders can be granted in cases of harassment or stalking as well.
  • If a protective order is granted, it means the respondent is guilty – this is not true. Protective orders are issued based on evidence presented to the court, but respondents still have the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.
  • Protective orders are easy to obtain – this is not true. Protective orders require strong evidence and are only issued when there is a clear and credible threat of harm.
  • Protective orders are difficult to overturn – this is not necessarily true. While protective orders cannot be overturned without legal grounds, it is possible to appeal or modify them if there are valid reasons to do so.

Remember that seeking to overturn or appeal a protective order is a serious legal matter that requires careful consideration and expert legal guidance. If you believe there are grounds for challenging a protective order, it’s important to consult with an attorney who can help you navigate the legal process.

Legal Procedure For Overturning A Protective Order

Steps To Follow To Appeal A Protective Order

If you’re facing a protective order, it can be easy to feel hopeless. However, it’s essential to remember that you have options, and appealing a protective order is one of them. To help you navigate this process, here are the key steps you should follow to appeal a protective order in texas:

Filing An Appeal With The Court

The first step in appealing a protective order is filing an appeal with the court. To do this, you’ll need to:

  • File a notice of appeal: This document alerts the court and all parties involved that you intend to appeal the protective order. Typically, you have around 20 days from the date the protective order was issued to file a notice of appeal.
  • Record the transcripts: This step involves requesting and receiving a copy of the transcripts from your protective order hearing. You’ll need these transcripts to prepare your appeal.
  • Draft and submit an appeal brief: This is the document that outlines your legal argument for why the protective order should be overturned or modified.

Preparing For The Hearing

The next step is preparing for the hearing where your appeal will be heard. To ensure you’re ready, you’ll need to:

  • Review the transcripts: Before the hearing, it’s crucial to review the transcripts to ensure you have a clear understanding of what was said during your protective order hearing.
  • Plan your argument: Use your transcript analysis to create a clear, concise argument for why the protective order should be overturned or modified.
  • Gather evidence: You may need to gather evidence to support your argument. This could include witness statements, police records, or medical records.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to appealing your protective order in texas. Remember, this can be a complex process, so it’s essential to have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through it all.

How To Present Your Case In Court

If you need to overturn a protective order in texas, then you must prepare a compelling case to present in court. Here are some essential tips to consider to make sure your case is strong enough to convince the judge.

Evidence To Present In Court

The more evidence you can gather, the stronger your case will be. The following are some proposals of types of documents you should present in court:

  • Emails, texts and phone records: Any communication that you have had with the petitioner can show the other side of the story and demonstrate the need to lift the protective order.
  • Medical records or police reports: If you were not the one who initiated the protective order, but actually the victim, medical and police reports will serve as proof to support your case.
  • Any other legal document: If there are other legal proceedings where the petitioner’s conduct has been questioned in a similar or related context, having those documents can explain the current situation and show the judge that this is not the first time the petitioner is acting in this manner.

Supporting Witnesses To Bring To The Hearing

Having reinforcing witnesses to back up your statements can make the difference in the final ruling. Consider bringing the following types of witnesses to the hearing:

  • Independent witnesses to the events that led to the protective order and can testify on your behalf.
  • Character witnesses that can testify about your good character or the petitioner’s lack of character.
  • Experts in certain fields, such as domestic violence professionals or mental health experts, can support your case with their knowledge and experience.

Expert Testimony And Opinions

Experts can provide exceptional advice, opinions, and data that support your case. Consider the following:

  • Consulting with a family lawyer can provide you insight into the legal system and can offer strategies and options you may not have previously considered.
  • Your expert may know about the unique context relevant to your case or have knowledge about the judge that he/she presiding over the case.
  • Any expert will require preparation for the court case, including reviewing the evidence and preparing written and oral materials.

Cross-Examination Strategies

Cross-examination can be one of the most dynamic and crucial periods in a courtroom. Skilled cross-examinations can make questionable claims, diminish credibility and even contradict earlier statements. Here are a few tips:

  • Before trial, organize a list of questions and areas that you want to explore. This list should contain all the potential, contentious, and critical matters related to the petitioner’s claims and motives.
  • Prepare to demonstrate that the petitioner’s allegations are unfounded, exaggerated, or false.
  • Try to control the flow of the cross-examination by making it clear to the witness that you require the type of answer that you want in direct questions.

By preparing well and following these tips, you will be able to present a compelling case that overturns the protective order.

Possible Outcomes And Post-Hearing Procedures

Possible Outcomes Of The Hearing

The court can decide to either uphold or overturn the protective order, depending on the evidence presented during the hearing. Here are the possible outcomes:

  • Protective order overturned: If the judge decides to overturn the order, the complainant will no longer be protected by the order, and the respondent can resume contact with them.
  • Protective order upheld: If the judge decides to uphold the order, the respondent must continue to comply with the terms of the order, and the complainant will remain protected.

What To Do If The Protective Order Is Overturned

If the protective order is overturned, it’s important to remember that the respondent is not allowed to contact the complainant while the order was in place. If the complainant still feels threatened, they can take the following steps:

  • File for a new protective order: The complainant can file for a new protective order if they feel their safety is at risk.
  • Seek legal advice: It’s always best to speak with an attorney, who can provide guidance regarding legal options and help to ensure your safety.

What To Do If The Protective Order Is Upheld

If the protective order is upheld, the respondent must continue to comply with the terms of the order. Failure to do so could result in legal consequences. Here are some other steps the complainant can take:

  • Take safety precautions: Even with a protective order in place, it’s essential to take precautions to ensure your safety. This could include changing locks, installing a security system, or seeking support from family and friends.
  • Attend counseling: Counseling can help the complainant cope with the trauma and move forward in a positive way.
  • Report violations: If the respondent violates the protective order, it’s important to report it to the police immediately.

While the process of overturning a protective order can be challenging, there are steps that both parties can take to ensure safety and find closure. By following legal counsel and taking necessary precautions, individuals can move forward and rebuild their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Fight A Protective Order In Texas

How Do I Fight A Protective Order In Texas?

To fight a protective order, you must contest the allegations and provide evidence to prove your innocence. Get an experienced attorney to guide you on the specific steps to take when challenging a protective order in texas.

What Happens If I Violate A Protective Order In Texas?

Violation of a protective order in texas can lead to severe repercussions, including possible arrest and criminal charges such as a class a misdemeanor, fines, and even imprisonment.

Can I Get A Protective Order Removed In Texas?

Yes, you can file a motion to modify the protective order to get it removed in texas. Consult with your attorney to understand the requirements and process for modifying the protective order.

How Can I Defend Myself Against False Allegations In A Protective Order?

Defending yourself against false allegations in a protective order in texas requires a comprehensive plan prepared with your legal representative. Collect physical evidence, present witnesses, and use legal tactics to prove your innocence.

What Is The Duration Of A Protective Order In Texas?

A protective order’s duration in texas depends on the circumstances of the case, the nature of the protective order, and its conditions. It ranges from 31 days to several years, as determined by the presiding judge.


Protective orders can be devastating and at times unfair, but the good news is that they are not set in stone. As we’ve learned in this article, there are various legal options available to fight a protective order in texas.

The process may seem daunting, but by hiring a skilled attorney, gathering evidence, and effectively presenting your case, you can overcome a protective order in court. It’s essential to act quickly since protective orders have a time limit and can severely impact your life.

With patience, persistence, and a solid legal strategy, you can fight against a protective order effectively. Remember, you have a right to defend yourself and your reputation. By following the legal procedures mentioned in this article and seeking professional legal help, you can regain control of your life and beat a protective order in texas.

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