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Basic Steps in an Extreme Risk Protection Order Case (ERPO)

Extreme Risk Protection Order cases, also called ERPO for short, have the same basic steps.

  1. Start the Case: The person starting the case is the petitioner. The person at risk of using guns to hurt other people or themselves is the respondent. A case begins with the petitioner filing an application in the Supreme Court. Visit Applying for an Extreme Risk Protection Order.
  2. Temporary Extreme Risk Protection Order: The judge makes a decision on the application the same day it is filed in court. If the judge orders an ERPO it is temporary. This means the order must be followed until the judge listens to both sides at a hearing and decides if a final ERPO should be issued. The police will bring a copy of a temporary ERPO to the respondent. The police will remove any guns that the respondent has. The case will get a date for both sides to come to court.
  3. Hearing: The case will get a hearing date that is 3-10 days after the application is filed. At the hearing, both sides get a chance to tell their side of the story to the judge. Bring any proof or people that can help the judge decide if a final ERPO is needed. If the judge grants the application, the respondent must follow the order. The ERPO will say the expiration date (up to 1 year). The ERPO must be followed in every state. If the judge decides that a final ERPO is not needed, the case is over.

After the ERPO is Ordered: Asking the Court for Something

Many different things can happen after an ERPO is ordered.

Respondent can:

  • Ask to change or cancel the ERPO. If the respondent thinks that there is good reason to change any or all of the ERPO, respondent can fill out an Application to Amend or Vacate an ERPO. This can only be asked for 1 time. The court will pick a hearing date and both sides will come to court to argue their side to the judge. The respondent must prove any changes in circumstances that would make the court change the order.
  • Apply for return of guns after the ERPO expires. IF the ERPO is over and not renewed, respondent can ask to get any guns back that the police took by filling out an Application for Return to the Respondent. The judge will make a decision.

Petitioner can:

  • Ask to renew the ERPO. Within 60 days before the ERPO expires, the petitioner can fill out an Application for Renewal of ERPO. Petitioner must serve a copy of the application on the respondent and file the application in the court. The court will give you a hearing date. At the hearing, both sides get a chance to tell their side of the story to the judge. Bring any proof or people that can help the judge decide if a renewed ERPO is needed. The judge can renew the ERPO for up to 1 more year. If the judge decides that a renewal of the ERPO is not needed, the case is over.

The Gun Owner can:

  • Ask for the return of guns. If the police took guns that don’t belong to the respondent, the owner can fill out an Application for the Return to Lawful Owner. Owners must show that they legally own the guns. The judge decides if the guns are returned. If the owner lives with the respondent, the owner must keep the guns away from the respondent.
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