Family Violence

Notice to Adult Victims of Family Violence

It is a crime for any person to cause you physical injury or harm, EVEN IF THAT PERSON IS A MEMBER OR FORMER MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD.

Please tell the investigating peace officer:

IF you, your child, or any other household resident has been injured; or

IF you feel you are going to be in danger when the officer leaves or later.

You have the right to:

ASK the local prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the person committing family violence; or

APPLY to a court for an order to protect you (you should consult a legal aid office, a prosecuting attorney, or a private attorney). If a family or household member assaults you and is arrested, you may request that a magistrate’s order for emergency protection be issued. Please inform the investigating officer if you want an order for emergency protection. You need not be present when the order is issued. You cannot be charged a fee by a court in connection with filing, serving, or entering a protective order. For example, the court can enter an order that:

  1. the abuser not commit further acts of violence;
  2. the abuser not threaten, harass, or contact you at home;
  3. directs the abuser to leave your household; and
  4. establishes temporary custody of the children and directs the abuser not to interfere with the children or any property.



• Domestic Violence Shelter: 806-374-5433

• Potter County Attorney’s Office: 806-379-2225

• Randall County Attorney’s Office: 806-468-5570

• Legal Aid NW Texas: 806-373-6808

• Outlying areas: 1-800-955-6808

• A Private Attorney

The Court Can Enter the Following Orders

It is a crime for any person to cause you physical injury or harm, EVEN IF THAT PERSON IS A MEMBER OR FORMER MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD.

A) Ex Parte Protective Order

Prior to a hearing, a court may enter an EX PARTE PROTECTIVE ORDER. This order may direct the abuser to leave your home, and order the abuser to refrain from abusing you in the future. If any provision of an EX Parte Protective Order has been violated, you should immediately notify the attorney who drafted the order or call your local Police Department.

B) Protective Order

After a hearing, the court may enter a PROTECTIVE ORDER.
This Protective Order may be good for two (2) years. A VIOLATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE. The Police Department should be notified if an individual violates a Protective Order by committing family violence, directly communicating with a family member in a threatening or harassing manner, or by going to or near the residence or place of employment as described in the protective order. A court may, in its orders, establish temporary custody of the children. If a police officer arrests a person in violation of a Protective Order not committed in his presence, or for any offense involving family violence, if physically able to do so, the victim must appear, at the police department following the arrest to file charges. Failure to do so may result in the release of the offender without charges. Any person charged with an offense has a right to bail and is subject to a speedy release. The police department has no control over this action. If the victim wishes to dismiss charges, they should contact the County Attorney or the District Attorney’s Office not the police department. The police department strongly discourages the dismissal of charges involving family violence.

C) Magistrate’s Order For Emergency Protection

If charges are filed against the person who committed family violence against you, then the police officer investigating your case, the prosecutor or you, may ask the court for an emergency order. The order can prohibit the person who committed family violence against you from (1) committing further acts of violence against you, (2) threatening you or harassing you and (3) going to or near your residence, your place of work and any school or child care facility regularly attended by your child or children. The order is good for 31 days, and allows criminal charges to be brought against the person who committed family violence against you, if that person violates the order. The order may be requested when the person who committed the family violence against you is brought before the court, such as during arraignment. If you have any questions about such an emergency order, please call the District Attorney’s office at 806-379-2325 or the County Attorney’s office at 806-379-2255.