When someone is being abused and wants legal protection to help stop the domestic violence, they can ask the court for a protective order. Victims of sexual assault and stalking can also ask for a protective order.
Technically, a protection order is just a piece of paper, but it allows you to call the police if your abuser is intentionally bothering you or coming to your home if he or she has been kicked out. The police will then (hopefully) arrest the restrained person for violating the order. Protective orders can be an effective tool, when used in combination with other safety planning measures, to help a victim leave an abusive situation or keep a stalker away.
The following table explains the basic protection order laws in Kansas.
||Kansas Statutes Chapter 60, Article 31: Protection from Abuse Act and Article 31a: Protection from Stalking Act
|What is Abuse and Stalking?
||Kansas law defines abuse for a protection order as one or more acts of intentionally causing bodily injury, placing in fear of bodily injury between people who are or have dated, lived together, or have a child in common, as well as acts of sexual abuse of a child under 16.
Stalking is intentionally harassment of another person that places him or her in reasonable fear for his or her safety.
|Activity Addressed by Order
||The protection order can do many things, including:
- Restrain the defendant from abusing or contacting the victim and any minor children
- Exclude the abuser from a home shared with the victim or find suitable alterative housing for the victim and their shared kids
- A cop can be ordered to help evict the abuser
- If not married and only one person owns the home, he or she can’t be excluded from it
- Determine temporary custody, visitation, and support for minor children
- Award court costs and attorney fees to either party
- Divide person property and order a cop to help secure the property if needed
- Require the restrained person to seek counseling to help stop being abusive
- Any other acts needed for the safety of the plaintiff or children
You can’t ask for a mutual restraining order unless the defendant also files a written petition for a protection order, giving the plaintiff notice, and the court specifically finds both parties were primary aggressors and not acting in self-defense.
These orders can be amended on the motion of either party.
|Duration of Order
||An emergency protective order is valid until 5:00 PM on the first day that court resumes business. At that time, the victim can request a temporary protection order.
Within 21 days of filing for a protection order, a hearing must be provided where custody and parenting time can be changed by this order, if good cause for a change is shown, such as one parent severely beating the other in front of the child.
A final protection order, with or without a support order included, can last a maximum of one year, which could be extended for another year at most. You can always apply for child support through the usual court process in the meantime.
However, if the defendant has violated this valid protection order or a prior one, or has been convicted of a person felony committed against the plaintiff or his or her household members, then the court will extend the protective order for at least two additional years and can order a lifetime protection order.
|Penalty for a Violation of Order
||Violation of any protective order is a crime, even if from other states or as conditions of probation. It’s generally a Class A misdemeanor subject to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, it’s a Level 6 person felony if an extended protection order for prior violations or due to convictions. This can result in 17 to 46 months, depending on prior crimes.
Violating a protection order can also result in an assault, battery, or domestic battery conviction, either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances, which can result in jail time.
Violating the order of exclusion from the home is criminal trespass, which is a Class B misdemeanor. trespass 21-5808,
Defendant can also be found in contempt of court.
|Who Can Apply for a Protection Order?
||A person or minor child through a parent or adult residing with the child can apply for a protection order. However, you can’t apply for one more than twice a year, except when it’s for abuse of a minor.
||There’s no filing fee for protection orders.
There’s also no service fee for a motion to extend a protection order in the case of violation of one or conviction of a person felony.
|Order Transmission to Law Enforcement
||A copy is sent to the police department in plaintiff’s town or county, who will then add it to the national database.
If the person who’s supposed to love you is hurting you instead, physically, sexually, emotionally, or financially, please reach out for help. You can call the 24-hour Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287 for domestic violence and sexual assault resources and referrals. A local family law attorney or a legal aid office can also help you file for a protection order.
Note: State laws change regularly, please contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these laws.
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