Frequently Asked Questions - Domestic Violence and Harassment

How do I ask for an order of protection?

Fill out the form called a petition provided by the court, and return it to court staff. It is important to know that a copy of the petition will be given to the defendant, the person the order is against, if an order of protection is issued and sent out for service. Although an order may protect more than one person (one plaintiff and other protected persons), it can be issued against only one person. A separate petition must be completed for each person against whom you want to be protected.

Each petition must have:
•    The name of the defendant.
•    The date of birth of the defendant (or a reasonable estimate).
•    A specific statement listing all acts and approximate dates of domestic violence that the defendant has committed against you within the past year. (The one-year requirement may be waived if the defendant is out of state, incarcerated, or good cause is shown.)
•    Your address and telephone number so the court can contact you if the defendant requests a hearing. (Upon request, this information will be withheld from the defendant.)
•    An address, if known, at which the defendant can be legally served with the order of the court.
Resources:
•    Protective order forms (English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese)

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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