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Missouri Protective Orders Laws

Protective orders are issued by courts, typically on a temporary basis, to protect vulnerable parties from potentially violent or otherwise unwanted visitors. For the most part, protective orders (also called "restraining orders") are granted when there are domestic disputes -- such as cases of child abuse, spousal abuse, or stalking.

Missouri protective order laws allow temporary orders for up to 15 days (10 days without notice) or as long as the court deems appropriate. Temporary protective orders may require the respondent (the person being restrained) to stay a certain distance away from the petitioner, to stay off a specified parcel of property, and to refrain from contacting the petitioner. This also applies to any children or dependents involved.

This article provides a brief overview of protective orders laws in Missouri.

Missouri Protective Orders Laws: At a Glance

The basics of Missouri's protective order laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for legal information and additional victim resources.

Code Section § 455.01 et seq. of the Missouri Revised Statutes
Activity Addressed by Order Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling; regarding minors: temporary custody, visitation, support, counseling; court costs; committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, molesting or disturbing the peace of petitioner, or abusing a pet, enjoining the respondent from communicating with the petitioner in any manner or through any medium; order that the petitioner be given temporary possession of the specified personal property, such as automobiles, checkbooks, keys, and other personal effects; prohibit the respondent from transferring, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of specified property mutually owned or leased by the parties; order the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program designed to help batterers stop violent behavior or to participate in a substance abuse treatment program; federal law also prohibits possession of a firearm
Duration of Order Full order: two to 10 years if a finding of serious danger to the physical or mental health of the petitioner; may be renewed
Penalty for a Violation of Order Class A misdemeanor unless convicted of same within 5 years: Class E felony
Who May Apply for Order Any adult who has been subject to abuse by present or former family or household member, or who has been the victim of stalking; family or household members means spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time; these persons can file for one on behalf of child: a parent or guardian of the victim; a guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate appointed for the victim; or the juvenile officer
Can Fees Be Waived? There is no filing fee in Missouri
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement Copy to local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides; copy for entry into Missouri uniform law enforcement system and to be entered into the National Crime Information Center
Civil Liability for Violation of Order Yes, contempt of court

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Missouri Protective Orders Laws: Related Resources

Get Help with a Protective Order Today

If someone is hurting or threatening to hurt you, there are resources available for you when you're ready. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for 24/7/365 support at 800-799-7233. If you've been abused or fear someone may abuse you in the future, you may want to get a protective order.

Please contact a Missouri domestic violence attorney for help.

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