INFORMATION ABOUT FILING A PETITION FOR PROTECTION FROM ABUSE
If you are about to file a Petition for Protection from Abuse and do not have a lawyer representing you, please carefully read the following:
- You may file a Petition for Protection from Abuse for yourself against your spouse, your former spouse, your parent, your child, other persons related to you by blood or marriage, a person with whom you have had a child or a present or former member of your household. Also, you may file a Petition on behalf of a minor child or a person who is physically or mentally unable to seek a Protection Order.
- To obtain a Protection Order, you must state briefly in your Petition and be prepared to prove the date, time, place and circumstances of any recent act of abuse which was committed against you or the person fro whom you are filing the Petition. The Judge may dismiss your Petition if it does not provide this basic detailed information.
- After you file your Petition, a Deputy Sheriff must deliver it to the person who committed the abuse. Until it is delivered, the Judge cannot hold a hearing on the Petition. For this reason, be sure to give the Circuit Court Clerk one or more accurate addresses or directions where the Petition can be delivered.
- If you are married, filing a Petition for Protection from Abuse will not get you divorced. Also, if the primary purpose of your Petition is to request a division of property between you and someone else, then your request is not likely to be granted.
- The Judge cannot grant you a Protection Order if your complaint about the person named in your Petition is that he or she merely argues, fusses, fails to provide financial support for you or your child(ren), makes vague non-violent threats (such as threatening to leave you, to take your property, to make false statements to others about you, to not pay the bills, etc.), drinks too much, takes illegal drugs, tries to control you, is jealous or possessive, is mentally ill, will not take prescribed medication and the like.
- You are required to prepay a filing fee unless you file a detailed financial affidavit which shows you or the person for whom you are filing the Petition is not able to do so.
- If you are allowed to file your Petition without prepaying the filing fee, then either you or the other person named in your Petition will be required to pay the filing fee at the end of the case.
- If you ask for your Petition to be dismissed after it is filed or you fail to show up for the hearing set on your Petition, then you will be ordered by the Judge to pay the filing fee. If you fail to do so, you may be found in contempt of court and put in jail until you comply.
- If you ask for your Petition to be dismissed or you fail to show up for the hearing set on the Petition, then any emergency Protection Order issued by the Judge will be set aside and will be no longer in effect.
- If you ask for your Petition to be dismissed after it is filed, then the Judge may order you and the other person named in your Petition to successfully complete a domestic violence intervention program or anger management program. If you or the other person fails to comply with that order, you or the other person may be found in contempt of court and put in jail until you or the other person complies with the order.
- At the hearing set on your Petition, you must have any witnesses, record, photographs and other materials in court if you believe they are necessary to prove that you or the person for whom you are filing the Petition was abused. The Clerk can explain what is required for you have a witness subpoenaed to court.
- If the Judge hears the evidence at the hearing set on your Petition and is not satisfied from the evidence that one or ore of the acts of abuse occurred, then your Petition will be dismissed and you will be required to pay any filing fee which was not prepaid.
Protection From Abuse Form
To download a fillable version of the Protection of Abuse Form, CLICK HERE.
NOTE: To view and download this form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.