What do I do now that I have a protection order?
After the Judge or a Commissioner signs your protection order, check to make sure that there are no errors. Ask the court staff or a Protection Order Advocate for help if the correct boxes have not been checked, if anything is unclear, or if the order has not been signed. Once the order has been checked for accuracy you will need to file it with the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office can make free, certified copies of the order for you. You can request as many copies as you need. The Clerk will also forward a copy of your full order to law enforcement for service on the respondent if he or she did not appear at the hearing.
Remember: A protection order is only one part of your safety plan. Be sure to plan for how to stay as safe as possible whether or not the abuser can be served with the protection order and whether or not the abuser obeys the order. If you are in danger, call the police whether or not the order has been served.
After the judge or commissioner signs your protection order
Check to make sure that there are no errors. If the correct boxes have not been checked, if anything is unclear, or if the order has not been signed, ask the court staff or a Protection Order Advocate for help.
The abuser can only be arrested for violating the protection order after he or she has been served with the order and knows that it is in effect
After the abuser has been served, call the police to report any violations of the order. Depending on the circumstances, the police may be able to arrest the abuser right away or forward a report to the prosecutor’s office recommending that charges be filed. If you are not sure if the abuser has been served with the protection order you can call the police or the Protection Order Advocates to check.
Have a copy of your Protection Order handy at all times
Keep a copy of the protection order with you at all times in case you need to call the police to report a violation.
Who else should have a copy of your Protection Order?
Give copies of the protection order to your employer and your children’s school or daycare provider.
Is my Protection Order valid outside of the state that it was issued?
Protection orders are valid in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Tribal lands and US territories. Keep a certified copy with you if you travel out of state.