Protective Order Center Frequently Asked Questions
Can I file a Protective Order online from home or download the forms?
No, you will have to come in person and complete the petition on the computer prompt system in the Protective Order Center.
Is there a fee to file a Protective Order?
There is no fee to file a Petition for Order of Protection or to file a Petition for Injunction Against Harassment.
There is a fee to file a Petition for Injunction Against Workplace Harassment which is $301.
Do I have to go into court before a judge?
Yes, a Protective Order can only be granted by a Judge.
Who can serve a Protective Order?
Sheriff, Law Enforcement or Process Server.
How long do I have to get the other party served after I see the judge?
You must serve the Protective Order within one (1) year from the date the Protective Order has been issued.
How long is the Protective Order in effect?
One (1) year from the date the Protective Order is served.
Can I file against more than one person on the same petition?
No, you will must complete a separate petition for each person from you seek protection.
Can I include other people for protection in the petition?
A judge may order a defendant not to have contact with other people (such as a relative, friends or a babysitter).
Depending on the circumstances, the court may require the other people to get their own protective order.
Do I have to include specific addresses in the petition?
Your home, work and other address may be kept confidential if the defendant does not know them,
but a mailing address must be given to the Court so that you can be notified of any hearing dates.
Do I have to notify the court if I change my address that is included in the Order of Protection?
Yes, you will need to go to the Protective Order Center and complete paperwork to modify the existing Order of Protection.
If I do not have the address of the other party, can the court find the address of the other party for me?
No, you must provide the court with addresses when available. You may still complete the paperwork and if a Protective
Order is granted by a judge, you will receive a copy of the Protective Order. Keep the Order with you at all times.
If the defendant appears, call the police or the sheriff and they will use your copy to serve the papers so the order will become effective.
Is there someone I can talk to if I have questions about domestic violence and available resources?
Yes. Domestic Violence Advocates are available the Downtown, Southeast and Northeast Protective Order Center locations.
Advocates are available to speak to victims regarding questions concerning domestic violence and the process to obtain an Order of Protection
or Injunction Against Harassment. They can assist victims in obtaining a 911 emergency cell phone; and refer victims to other agencies and
organizations that can help with shelter and counseling. In addition, Advocates can accompany individuals to court to get an Order of Protection
or Injunction Against Harassment, or other proceedings related to domestic violence. Advocates cannot provide legal advice.
However, the Protective Order Center does have information on valuable legal resources in the community.
How do I apply for an Order of Protection when the court house is closed?
If the Court has closed for business, Emergency Orders of Protection are granted by a judge in writing verbally,
or telephonically to protect a person who is in imminent danger of domestic violence. Emergency Orders of Protection are available from
local law enforcement agencies. If you are not in immediate danger, you can call your local law enforcement agency's non-emergency telephone number.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
What if I do not agree with the protective order issued against me?
The Defendant has the right to request one hearing within one (1) year from the date he/she is served with the protective order.
What if I have been ordered to surrender my guns, who do I give them to and when can I get them back?
A judge may order that the defendant turn over firearms to a local police department or to a sheriff's office.
In that case, you must abide by the order and immediately turn over all firearms in your possession to the local police department of the
sheriff's office within 24 hours. At the end of the one-year term of the order or if the order is dismissed or quashed before the end of
the one-year term of the order, you may request your firearms from the law enforcement agency that his hold them.