Domestic Violence State Forms
Victims of domestic violence often face difficult choices on multiple fronts. Do they call law enforcement to resolve the immediate danger? If they decide to leave an abusive intimate partner, where will they go? Will they be able to retain child custody and obtain child support?
Fortunately, there are a number of domestic violence resources they can turn to for help. Placing a call to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 is a good first step. Hotline workers are trained in advocacy. They can provide an important sounding board for a victim who knows they deserve a better life and needs support. An advocate can provide contact information and make referrals to local social service providers, including emergency shelters and health care facilities.
Each victim's experience is unique. It may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or a combination of different types of abuse. The abuser may be a spouse or a live-in partner. The parties' relationship may be long-term or short-term but contain elements of dating violence.
How Civil Protection Orders Can Help
An important way survivors can protect themselves from further abuse is to file for a protective order. A protective order may also be called a civil protection order.
A protection order prohibits the abuser from making contact with the victim or family members living with the victim. It requires the abuser to stay away. It can also grant exclusive use of a home and issue orders related to custody, visitation, and child support.
A civil protection order is handled as a separate civil case, usually in family court. When first filed, the victim will seek a temporary or ex parte order from the court. This means only the victim will be present and will testify about the reasons for the order. If the court agrees, it will grant the ex parte order.
The court will have the offender served with the order and set a full hearing. Both parties can testify at the full hearing. If the court still concludes that there was domestic violence after the full hearing, it can issue a permanent civil protection order that can last for a year or more.
Protective Orders In Criminal Domestic Violence Cases
If a victim also cooperated with police in the filing of criminal charges, then the criminal court can issue an emergency protective order. This is a separate order in the criminal case. It is sometimes called a criminal temporary protection order.
If the victim or law enforcement requests it, the court will hold a brief hearing around the time of the offender's arraignment. If the court grants the order, it will last for the length of the criminal case. It will order the offender to have no contact with the victim or the victim's household members.
What Happens If an Abuser Violates the Protective Order?
When a protection order is issued, courts will notify local law enforcement. The court order is entered into law enforcement databases so that it will appear when officers look up the name of the offender.
Violating a protection order is a crime in itself. It may be pursued as a felony or a misdemeanor crime, depending on the circumstances.
A victim must file the appropriate petition and supporting documents when seeking a protection order. Below you will find links to state domestic violence forms related to protection orders.
Domestic Violence: Protection Order Forms by State
- Petition for Protection From Abuse (Alabama Administrative Office of Courts)
- Domestic Violence Protective Orders: Step by Step (Alaska Court System)
- Quick Reference: Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Sexual Assault Protective Order Forms and Instructions (Alaska Court System)
- Petition for Protection Order Forms (Alaska Court System)
- Protective Order Forms (Arizona Judicial Branch)
- Order of Protection Information Sheet: Sebastian County (Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney's Office)
- Petition for Order of Protection: Sebastian County (Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney's Office)
- Order of Protection Forms (Arkansas Judiciary)
- Protection Order Forms (Colorado State Judicial Branch)
- Application For Relief From Abuse (Connecticut Judicial Branch)
- Protection from Abuse Forms (Delaware State Courts)
District of Columbia
- Get a Protection Order (District of Columbia Courts)
- Domestic Violence Forms (District of Columbia Courts)
- Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence (Florida Supreme Court)
- Family Court Forms
- Protection Order Forms (Hawaii State Judiciary)
- Orders of Protection Forms (Illinois Courts)
- Court Forms (Iowa Judicial Branch)
- Protection From Abuse Forms (Kansas Legal Services)
- Protection Order Forms (Kansas Judicial Council)
- Louisiana Protective Order Registry Forms (Supreme Court of Louisiana)
- Protection Order Information and Forms (Maine Judicial Branch)
- Petition for Protection Form (Maryland Courts)
- Restraining Order and Harassment Court Forms (Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries)
- Filing an Order for Protection (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
- Adult Abuse/Stalking Forms (Missouri Judiciary)
- Domestic Violence Forms (Montana Department of Justice)
- Protection Order Forms/Information Sheets (Nebraska Judicial Branch)
- Domestic Violence Protection Orders (Nevada Courts)
- Protection Order Forms (New Hampshire Judicial Branch)
- Protective Order: Fillable Form (Family Division of Superior Court)
- Domestic Violence Forms (New Mexico Courts)
- Domestic Violence Protection Order (North Dakota Supreme Court)
- Domestic Violence Protection Order Forms (Ohio Supreme Court)
- Filing for a Restraining Order Under the Family Abuse Prevention Act (Oregon Courts)
- Protective Orders
- How to File a Protection Order (Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania)
- Court Forms (Judiciary of Rhode Island)
- Filing for an Order of Protection in South Carolina (South Carolina Legal Services)
- Petition for Order of Protection (South Carolina Courts)
- South Dakota Legal Self Help (South Dakota Unified Judicial System)
- Order of Protection Forms (Tennessee Courts)
- Protective Order forms (Texas Bar Foundation)
- Request for Protective Order (Utah State Courts)
- More Information on Protection Orders (Utah State Courts)
- Relief From Abuse (Vermont Judiciary)
- Petition For Protective Order - Stalking/Serious Bodily Injury (Virginia Courts)
- Instructions for Form DC-383 (Virginia Courts)
- Court Forms: Domestic Violence (Washington State Courts)
- Domestic Violence Forms (West Virginia Court System)
- Petition for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Injunction (Wisconsin Court System)
- Restraining Orders (Wisconsin State Law Library)
- Court Self-Help Forms (Wyoming Courts)
Questions Regarding Domestic Violence Protection Orders? Consider Getting Legal Help.
Domestic violence and dating violence victims can often file for protection orders with or without an attorney. If there is a pending criminal case, a prosecutor or victim services assistant can explain the process. Some victims may qualify for a legal aid attorney to assist them with filing a petition in family court.
If you need emergency assistance to stop domestic abuse, call 911 or call the police. Whether you are the victim associated with a criminal case or not, you can seek legal advice to help you through this process. Consider talking with an experienced family law attorney who can review domestic violence protection order forms and other legal matters with you.
Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?
- Victims of domestic violence can press charges against their abuser
- The ability or requirements to press charges varies in each state
- Contacting a family law attorney or advocacy groups for advice is essential
Some attorneys represent victims of domestic violence. Others defend the rights of those accused of domestic abuse or other related crimes. Many attorneys offer free consultations.