Domestic Violence Actions

Protective Order vs. Peace Order

Protective Orders and Peace Orders are civil orders issued by a judge that require one person to refrain from committing certain acts against others. The relationship between the Respondent (person alleged to have committed the prohibited act) and the Petitioner (person seeking protection) determines which Petition is to be filed. Protective Orders generally apply to people in domestic relationships and Peace Orders apply to other persons. Therefore, you cannot qualify for both a Protective Order and a Peace Order.

Filing a Petition

If you are filing the petition for yourself, these statements need to be considered:

  • I am the current or former spouse with the Respondent
  • I have lived in an intimate relationship with the Respondent for at least 90 days during the past year
  • I am related to the Respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • I am the parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the Respondent, and I have resided with the Respondent for 90 days during the past year
  • I have a child in common with the Respondent

 

If any of the above applies to you, you would file for a Protective Order. If none of the above applies to you, you would file for a Peace Order.

If you are filing the petition for a minor child, you may be eligible for a Protective Order if any of the following apply to the minor child:

  • The minor child is the current or former spouse of the Respondent
  • The minor child has lived in an intimate relationship with the Respondent for at lest 90 days during the past year
  • The minor child is related to the Respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • The minor child is the stepparent, child, or stepchild of the Respondent, and has resided with the Respondent for 90 days during the past year
  • The minor child has a child in common with the Respondent

 

If any of the above applies to the minor child, you would file a Protective Order.

Note: To be eligible to file a Petition for Protective Order on behalf of a minor child or vulnerable adult (an adult who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for his or her daily needs), you must either (1) be related to the minor child or vulnerable adult by blood, marriage, or adoption, or (2) reside in the same home with the minor child or vulnerable adult.

Once you determine the type of order for which you may qualify, you then must prove that one of the following acts occurred.

  • An act that caused serious bodily harm
  • An act that placed the petitioner in fear of imminent bodily harm
  • Assault in any degree
  • Rape or sexual offense
  • Attempted rape or sexual offense
  • False imprisonment
  • Criminal stalking
  • Criminal harassment*
  • Criminal trespassing*
  • Malicious destruction of property*

*Apply to only Protective and Peace Orders

Outcomes of Protective and Peace Orders

Protective Orders and Peace Orders are intended to provide protection for the Petitioner and other individuals named in the order. The Respondent may be order to:

  • Stop threatening or committing abuse
  • Stay away from the Petitioner’s home, place of employment or school
  • Have no contact with the Petitioner or others

A protective order may also:

  • Award temporary use and possession of the home to the Petitioner
  • Award temporary custody of children to the Petitioner
  • Award temporary financial support
  • Require the Respondent to surrender all firearms and refrain from possession of firearms for the duration of the Order. (State law requires the Respondent to surrender all firearms to a law enforcement agency if a Final Protective Order is issued.)
  • Award temporary possession of any pet of person eligible for relief or Respondent