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Iowa Protective Orders Laws

The Hawkeye State can be a great place to begin a relationship. But not all relationships last forever, and if your relationship has turned from an unhappy breakup into a possibly dangerous situation, you may be wondering what steps you can take in order to keep yourself safe. This is an introduction to protective orders laws in Iowa.

Protective Orders Laws

Under state law, protective orders (or "restraining orders") are court orders prohibiting the person named in the document from coming within a certain distance to the person seeking the protection. If a named person violates the protective order they can be fined or arrested. Many abused spouses and exes file protective orders to keep their abusers away, but these orders can also be used to protect children and stalking victims. In some instances, a protective order can include restrictions regarding interstate travel or gun ownership.

Protective Orders in Iowa

Each state may define and enforce their protective orders differently. The chart below lists the details of Iowa’s protective orders statutes.

Code Section

Iowa Code 236.1, et seq.: Domestic Abuse

Activity Addressed by Order

Counseling; enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, school, or work; regarding minor children: temporary custody, visitations, support, maintenance

Duration of Order

Maximum 1 year. Emergency: maximum 72 hours; may then seek temporary order.

Penalty for a Violation of Order

Simple misdemeanor, contempt: required jail sentence; if no contact order: county jail minimum 7 days, a fine may be imposed, attorney's fees, court costs

Who May Apply for Order

Person seeking relief from domestic abuse on behalf of self or unemanicipated minor

Can Fees Be Waived?


Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

Certified copy to county sheriff within 6 hours of filing of the order

Civil Liability for Violation of Order


While protection orders can't prevent every incident of harassment and harmful contact, they are able to provide domestic violence victims with criminal recourse if someone violates an order. And under federal protection order law, all states, including Iowa are mandated to honor and enforce valid protection orders that another state has issued. Therefore, if you obtain a protection order in Iowa and move to another state, your existing protection order is valid and enforceable in that state, and vice versa.

Iowa Protective Orders Laws: Get Professional Help Today

If you're in need of a protection order, chances are you're in a frightening and potentially confusing situation. It's important that you make sure you (and any children who may be involved) are safe, first of all. You can also consult with an Iowa domestic violence attorney if you would like legal advice regarding a domestic violence or protective order issue.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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