Nebraska Revised Statute 42-925
Ex parte protection order; duration; notice requirements; hearing; notice; referral to referee; notice regarding firearm or ammunition.
(1) An order issued under section 42-924 may be issued ex parte to the respondent if it reasonably appears from the specific facts included in the affidavit that the petitioner will be in immediate danger of abuse before the matter can be heard on notice. If an order is issued ex parte, such order is a temporary order and the court shall forthwith cause notice of the petition and order to be given to the respondent. The court shall also cause a form to request a show-cause hearing to be served upon the respondent. If the respondent wishes to appear and show cause why the order should not remain in effect, he or she shall affix his or her current address, telephone number, and signature to the form and return it to the clerk of the district court within ten business days after service upon him or her. Upon receipt of a timely request for a show-cause hearing, the request of the petitioner, or upon the court's own motion, the court shall immediately schedule a show-cause hearing to be held within thirty days after the receipt of the request for a show-cause hearing and shall notify the petitioner and respondent of the hearing date. The petition and affidavit shall be deemed to have been offered into evidence at any show-cause hearing. The petition and affidavit shall be admitted into evidence unless specifically excluded by the court. If the respondent appears at the hearing and shows cause why such order should not remain in effect, the court shall rescind the temporary order.
(2) A temporary ex parte order shall be affirmed and deemed the final protection order and service of the temporary ex parte order shall be notice of the final protection order if the respondent has been properly served with the temporary ex parte order and:
(a) The respondent fails to request a show-cause hearing within ten business days after service upon him or her and no hearing was requested by the petitioner or upon the court's own motion;
(b) The respondent has been properly served with notice of any hearing requested by the respondent, the petitioner, or upon the court's own motion and fails to appear at such hearing; or
(c) The respondent has been properly served with notice of any hearing requested by the respondent, the petitioner, or upon the court's own motion and the protection order was not dismissed at the hearing.
(3) If an order under section 42-924 is not issued ex parte, the court shall immediately schedule an evidentiary hearing to be held within fourteen days after the filing of the petition, and the court shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to the petitioner and the respondent. Any notice provided to the respondent shall include notification that a court may treat a petition for a domestic abuse protection order as a petition for a harassment protection order or a sexual assault protection order if it appears from the facts that such other protection order is more appropriate and that the respondent shall have an opportunity to show cause as to why such protection order should not be entered. If the respondent does not appear at the hearing and show cause why such order should not be issued, the court shall issue a final protection order.
(4) The court may by rule or order refer or assign all matters regarding orders issued under section 42-924 to a referee for findings and recommendations.
(5) An order issued under section 42-924 shall remain in effect for the period provided in subsection (3) of section 42-924, unless dismissed or modified by the court prior to such date. If the order grants temporary custody, such custody shall not exceed the number of days specified by the court unless the respondent shows cause why the order should not remain in effect.
(6) The court shall also cause the notice created under section 29-2291 to be served upon the respondent notifying the respondent that it may be unlawful under federal law for a person who is subject to a protection order to possess or receive any firearm or ammunition.
(7) A court may treat a petition for a domestic abuse protection order as a petition for a harassment protection order or a sexual assault protection order if it appears from the facts in the petition, affidavit, and evidence presented at a show-cause hearing that such other protection order is more appropriate and if:
(a) The court makes specific findings that such other order is more appropriate; or
(b) The petitioner has requested the court to so treat the petition.
In considering whether to continue an ex parte domestic abuse protection order following a finding that domestic abuse has occurred, a court is not limited to considering only whether the ex parte order was proper, but may also consider a number of factors pertinent to the likelihood of future harm. Maria A. on behalf of Leslie G. v. Oscar G., 301 Neb. 673, 919 N.W.2d 841 (2018).
Whether domestic abuse occurred is a threshold issue in determining whether an ex parte protection order should be affirmed; absent abuse as defined by the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, a protection order may not remain in effect. Maria A. on behalf of Leslie G. v. Oscar G., 301 Neb. 673, 919 N.W.2d 841 (2018).
When a petition and affidavit for a domestic abuse protection order satisfy the requirements of section 42-924, the court is required to issue an ex parte domestic abuse protection order or schedule an evidentiary hearing. Jacobo v. Zoltenko, 30 Neb. App. 44, 965 N.W.2d 32 (2021).
The 5-day period to file a show cause hearing request as set forth in subsection (1) of this section is directory and not mandatory. Accordingly, failing to file a request for a show cause hearing within that 5-day period does not preclude the later filing of a motion to bring the matter back before the court, including the filing of a motion to vacate an ex parte order. Courtney v. Jimenez, 25 Neb. App. 75, 903 N.W.2d 41 (2017).
This section does not procedurally limit a litigant's right to call witnesses at a show cause hearing. Zuco v. Tucker, 9 Neb. App. 155, 609 N.W.2d 59 (2000).