There are two kinds of protective orders. The first is a criminal no contact order, which is part of the criminal case for domestic abuse. When a person calls the police after he or she has been hurt, the alleged abuser may be charged with domestic abuse, and a no contact order, also known as a protective order, may be issued. The no contact order usually lasts until the trial on the domestic abuse charge (or until a plea bargain is reached). The State of Iowa, as represented by the county attorney, negotiates with the alleged abuser or the attorney representing the abuser. Sometimes the no contact order is dropped after a plea bargain is struck.
The other kind of protective order is a civil protective order. Any victim of domestic abuse can obtain a civil protective order by going to the clerk of court and asking for the form for protective orders. You fill out the form, and give it back to the clerk. Then you go see a judge. The judge will see you ahead of regular court business, because of the emergency nature of protective orders. The temporary order granted by the judge will be in effect until a hearing on the case can take place-usually about 10 to 15 days after you first get the temporary order.