PROVO (AP) — The police officer told Ray Herrera to stop laughing. A protective order is a serious thing.

But he couldn't resist: The court order to keep Herrera away from his ex-wife was signed back in December 1995.

Since then, he and Barbara Giles have become close friends. They regularly call and e-mail each other. Together they attended funerals for Herrera's parents.

"I thought it was 'Candid Camera' at first," he said of the court order, referring to the old TV show.

Lori Woffinden, clerk of the 4th District Court, said she didn't know why it took 13 years to be delivered.

"I thought he was joking with me," Giles said when Herrera informed her about the overdue order.

She said she sought the order when they were battling over custody of their children.

During a court hearing Thursday, they were 10 feet apart because they were not allowed to sit or talk together.

Judge Thomas Patton dismissed the order, and Herrera and Giles walked out — together.