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Arkansas Protective Orders Laws

Courts issue protective orders for people who have reason to believe someone is a threat to their safety. These orders are also known as orders of protection or restraining orders. The person named in the order typically must stay a certain distance away from the individual obtaining it, while refraining from all other types of contact.

Protective orders may be issued for many reasons, but usually are granted to protect the victims of domestic violence or stalking. While restraining orders also may be used to protect celebrities from obsessive fans, such orders for celebrities are far less common.

General Overview of Arkansas Protective Orders

If you're the victim of domestic abuse or have some other valid reason for obtaining a restraining order, go to your local courthouse and file for an order of protection.

Review the following chart for a breakdown of the basics around protective orders in Arkansas:

Code Section 9-15-101, et. al seq.
Activity Addressed by Order The following are activities typically addressed in protective orders:
  • Exclusion of the abuser from a dwelling, place of business or employment, or school
  • Awarding of temporary support and custody
  • Establishing visitation
  • Enforcing costs
  • Preventing direct or indirect contact
  • Possession of pets, but if you've left your pet behind, seek assistance before attempting to retrieve the animal from where you and your partner or abuser lived or lives
  • Prohibiting possession of firearms
Duration of Order
  • A fixed period of time that is greater than 90 days, but not in excess of 10 years
  • A court may decide to extend the order at any point if it believes the threat of abuse still exists
Penalty for a Violation of Order Class A misdemeanor, which carries with it the following:
  • A maximum penalty of one year of imprisonment in county jail, and/or
  • A maximum fine of $1,000
Who May Apply for Order The following people may apply for an order:
  • Family or household member
  • Anyone on behalf of a family or household member who is a minor or an adjudicated incompetent (someone whom a court has deemed incapable of handling their own affairs by virtue of a debilitating mental condition)
Can Fees Be Waived? There are no fees associated with the filing of the order.
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement A copy is issued to a law enforcement officer who can accompany the petitioner to the petitioner's dwelling or assist in service of order to the abuser.
Civil Liability for Violation of Order Civil contempt

Note: State laws may change at any time, usually through the enactment of new statutes but occasionally through the issuance of higher court opinions or other means. You may want to contact an Arkansas criminal defense attorney or family law attorney. You might also want to conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Consider reviewing the following resources, if you would like to learn more about the laws of Arkansas:

Arkansas Protective Order Laws: Related Resources

Also consider reviewing the following, if you're interested in learning more about laws or issues related to orders of protection:

Still Concerned? Consider Speaking with an Attorney

It's traumatic to be the victim of domestic violence. It's stressful to go through any legal process alone. When it comes to domestic violence and seeking orders of protection, it's likely victims feel overwhelmed. Consider seeking the assistance of a qualified family law attorney near you. They can help you navigate seeking orders of protection and other aspects of putting your life back on track.

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