Bill seeks to clarify Nebraska's protective order process

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- A Nebraska bill seeks to clarify the state's law on protection orders and require at least an initial hearing for all applicants.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that almost 930 of the 3,300 protection orders filed in Douglas County last year were immediately denied without a hearing and often without an explanation from a judge.

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh says Nebraska is one of only two states that don't require hearings for protection-order applications. Her bill seeks to require a hearing, clarify application details and create a standard renewal process for all three types of protection orders -- domestic abuse, sexual assault and harassment.

The Nebraska Bar Association says lawmakers should be aware of the strain that would be placed on the judicial system if hearings are required within 14 days of an application.