New Hampshire Legal Aid

Legal Information, Referrals, and Pro Se Assistance
Home » When You Need Immediate Protection

When You Need Immediate Protection

Printer-friendly version

Emergency Protective Orders

If you are in danger and need immediate protection, ask for emergency (ex-parte) orders. The clerk will take the papers directly to a judge.

If you get to see the judge, tell him or her simply and honestly what has happened to you and why you believe you are in danger.

If the judge finds that you are in danger, he or she can issue temporary protective orders, right then and there.

These orders will direct the abuser not to abuse you and not to enter your residence, workplace or school.

The judge can also issue emergency orders that:

  • grant you temporary custody of your children, and
  • order the abuser to turn over any guns or other deadly weapons he/she could use to harm you to a peace officer.

You will get a copy of your protective order, whether temporary (emergency) or not, from the clerk of the court.


If You Need an Emergency Protective Order and the Court is Closed

If you are in immediate danger of domestic abuse and no court is open, you can get an emergency protective order by contacting the nearest police department. A police officer can help you fill out the proper form and reach a judge by telephone.

Fill out the form using as much detail as possible. Be specific about dates, times, locations, and incidences of abuse. The police officer will read the judge what you have written.

If the judge believes you are in immediate danger, he/she can issue an emergency protective order over the phone.

These orders are only valid through the next business (court) day. You must apply for new temporary emergency orders at your local court.


If English is your second language or you don’t speak any English, you have a right to request an interpreter to assist you with the police and in any court proceedings. Make sure to let the police and/or the court know that you need an interpreter to help you.

March 16, 2017

Did you find what you need?

Please help us help you. Take our quick survey.