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Learn How to Get a Protective Order

It may take 2 to 3 days to get a protective order. If you are in danger now, call 911.

Learn More: What a Protective Order Can Do?

Step 1 - Fill out the Paperwork

Step 2 - Deliver the Paperwork to the Court

Step 3 - Attend the Temporary Protective Order Hearing

  • What is This Hearing?
    • You will go to court and explain why you want a protective order.
    • To qualify, the Judge needs to find that you are in imminent danger.
    • The Order will only last until a more formal hearing can occur.
    • The Respondent will not be at this hearing.
  • When will this Happen?
    • The hearing will occur the same day, or within a few days, from when you file.
    • Hearings are usually scheduled by the clerk when you file the paperwork.
  • How do I Prepare for the Hearing?
    • Outline the events that led you to request a protective order. The Incident Checklist - JDF 401 may help you get organized to tell your story. 

Step 4 - Formally Give the Paperwork to the Respondent

Step 5 - Attend the Permanent Protective Order Hearing

  • What is This Hearing?
    • The Court will decide if the Protective Order should become permanent.
    • The Court will grant your request if the Court finds:
      • The Respondent did the things you say they did. AND
      • The Respondent will continue to do those things. OR
      • The Respondent will intimidate or retaliate against you.
  • Learn More: How to Prepare for the Hearing.
  • Learn More: The Decision

Step 6 - Enforce the Protective Order

  • Copies: 
    • Keep a copy of the Protective Order with you at all times.
    • Deliver certified copies to key people or places.
      • Key people are those that will need to follow the order.
      • Examples include your work or daycare center. 
  • Police Assistance:
    • Call the police for every violation of the Protective Order.
    • Keep a detailed log of all violations and print out any emails or texts. 
    • A violation of the Protective Order is a criminal offense.

Learn More: Renters Rights and Protective Orders

Steps to Get a Protective Order

Follow these steps to obtain a Protective Order.

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Fill out the Paperwork

Complete the Complaint and Information Sheet.

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Deliver the Paperwork to the Court

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Attend the Temporary Protective Order Hearing

This hearing will be scheduled when you deliver the paperwork to the Court.

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Formally Deliver the Paperwork to the Respondent

Then, be sure to deliver the completed Affidavit of Service to the Court.

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Attend the Permanent Protective Order Hearing

This hearing will be scheduled at the Temporary Protective Order Hearing.

Getting Help With a Protection Order

Find a Protection Order class or clinic in the Legal Aid & Clinics section. Look at the calendar tool to find Protection Order events happening near you soon. You may also find help to understand the process at a nearby court self-help center in the Sherlock section.

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