If you're a victim of domestic violence or stalking, it's wise to get an order of protection. Also known as restraining orders or protection orders, these help victims of such violence protect themselves from their abusers.
Continue reading for an overview of the laws on protective orders in Oklahoma.
Protective Orders and Related Laws
Protective orders are legally enforceable court orders telling the person named in the document to stay a certain distance away from the person seeking the protection. Protective orders are most often used by abused spouses and exes, but they may also protect children and stalking victims.
Oklahoma Statutes Title 22 §60.1, et seq.: Protection from Domestic Abuse Act
Activity Addressed by Order
Orders of protection address a variety of activities. The following are examples of activities that orders address:
- Prohibiting the respondent from making contact with the petitioner
- Excluding the respondent from a dwelling where the petitioner lives
- Establishing temporary custody of a child
- Requiring the respondent to attend sessions with a counselor or therapist
- Directing the respondent to pay the expenses the petitioner has incurred as a result of seeking the order, such as court costs and attorney fees
- Prohibiting possession or use of firearms and other dangerous weapons
- Directing the respondent to yield a pet or companion animal to the petitioner or to a child or the children of the petitioner
- Forbidding contact between the respondent and such an animal or pet
- Directing the respondent not to harm or injure such an animal or pet
- Transferring billing responsibilities for wireless telephone numbers or household utility accounts out of the respondent's control and into that of the petitioner
Duration of Order
Temporary orders: A temporary order lasts for a duration of 14 days. Within those 14 days, a hearing must occur to determine if the order should be extended. If the respondent cannot be provided notice of the hearing, a temporary order can be extended for 14-day periods until notice can take place.
General orders: A general order may last for a duration of up to a maximum of three years. It may be modified or extended at any time prior to the expiration of those three years.
Penalty for a Violation of Order
A violation of an order is treated as a misdemeanor. For violating an order, an offender faces a maximum of one year in jail and/or a fine in the amount of a maximum of $1,000.
If the offender has been convicted of a violation a second time or additional set of times, the offenses shall be treated as a felony. Penalties for a felony under these circumstances are imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for one to three years or by a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000. An offender may also be penalized with both prison time and a fine.
If the offender is a minor, they face required counseling and community service hours instead of prison time and fines.
Who May Apply for Order
The following people are eligible for orders of protection:
- Victims of stalking
- Victims of domestic violence
- Any adult or emancipated minor household member on behalf of any other family or household member who is a minor or incompetent, or any minor who is 16 or 17 years of age
- Anyone in a dating relationship, which means an intimate association usually of a sexual or romantic nature
- The grandparents, stepparents, adoptive parents, or foster parents on behalf of the petitioner or of the respondent
- Children (including grandchildren, stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children) of the petitioner or the respondent
- Persons related by blood or marriage that live in the same dwelling or have lived in the same dwelling
- People living together
Can Fees Be Waived?
There are no filing fees.
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement
Within 24 hours of return of service, the court will send copies to all appropriate law enforcement agencies designated by the petitioner.
Civil Liability for Violation of Order
Protection orders aren't a perfect shield against harassment and harmful behaviors, but they can provide domestic violence victims with criminal recourse if an abuser violates an order. Also, federal protection order law mandates that Oklahoma honor and enforce valid protection orders issued by another state, and vice versa.
Oklahoma Protective Orders Laws: Related Resources
The process of obtaining and enforcing a protective order can be confusing. If you would like legal advice regarding a domestic violence or protective order matter, you can contact an Oklahoma domestic violence attorney. You can also find more information and resources in FindLaw's section on Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders.