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Wisconsin Protective Orders Laws

Also known as orders of protection and protection orders, protective orders help victims of domestic violence and stalking protect themselves from their abusers. If you're a victim of domestic violence or stalking, it's wise to get an order of protection.

Continue reading for a brief overview of protective orders in Wisconsin.

Protective Orders and Related Laws

Protective orders are legally enforceable court documents that order the person named in the document to stay a certain distance away from the person seeking the protection. While most protective orders are used to protect abused spouses and exes from their abusers, they may also be used to keep stalkers away.

Code Section


Activity Addressed by Order

Orders address a variety of activities. The following are examples of activities that orders address:

  • Prohibiting the respondent (the alleged perpetrator) from making contact with the petitioner (the alleged victim)
  • Excluding the respondent from a dwelling where the petitioner lives
  • Establishing visitation rights
  • Directing the respondent to surrender firearms, unless the respondent is a peace officer
  • Prohibiting the respondent from harming, injuring, removing, hiding, or disposing of a companion animal or pet
  • Transferring control of a mobile phone number to petitioner for the purposes of maintaining that phone number

Duration of Order

Orders last for 10 years. However, if there is a risk that the respondent may kill or sexually assault the petitioner, orders may exceed 10 years.

Penalty for a Violation of Order

If the respondent knowingly violates an order, they face up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Who May Apply for Order

The following people are eligible for orders of protection:

  • Spouse of the respondent
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Person related by blood or adoption to another person
  • Person currently living with another person
  • Stepparent
  • Guardian of a child victim

Can Fees Be Waived?


Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

A copy of the order is sent to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction within 24 hours, while it's also made available to other agencies through a verification system.

Civil Liability for Violation of Order


Wisconsin takes domestic violence very seriously. By providing access to orders of protection, Wisconsin tries to help victims protect themselves. Protection orders and harassment restraining orders may not be a perfect deterrent in every harmful scenario, but they can provide a victim with some criminal recourse if an abuser violates an order.

In addition to standard protective orders, Wisconsin has temporary restraining orders, which are put in place to give the threatened person more time to request a longer-term order. Also, under federal protection order law, if you have a valid protection order issued by one state, Wisconsin and other states are required to honor and enforce that order.

Wisconsin Protective Orders and Related Laws: Other Resources

Figuring out how to get a protective order and making sure it's enforced can appear complicated. You can find more introductory information and resources on this topic by visiting FindLaw's Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders section. You can also contact a Wisconsin domestic violence attorney if you would like legal assistance with a domestic violence or protective order matter.

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