Instructions for Completing Petitions for Orders of Protection or Injunctions Against Harassment:

  1. We must have your address and phone number so that we can reach you if the defendant requests a hearing. This information will be kept confidential from the defendant and the public.
  2. In order to serve the defendant, you must have a physical address. You can request and receive an Order or Injunction without the address, but the Order or Injunction is not effective until it can be served on the defendant.
  3. “Filing” means that you have submitted your paperwork to the Court. It does not mean that the Order or Injunction is effective. Based on the facts you present at your hearing, the Judge will determine if the Order or Injunction will be granted or denied. Orders and Injunctions are not granted automatically.
  4. There is no filing fee. However, you are still responsible for fees to the constable or private process server  to deliver your documents. If you are currently receiving A.F.D.C., SSI, etc, or you cannot pay and you are having the constable serve your papers, please request an Application for Deferral or Waiver from the clerk.
  5. If the Judge issues the Order or Injunction, the defendant must be served before the Order or Injunction is effective.
  6. If the defendant violates the Order or Injunction, contact law enforcement immediately. Decisions to file charges are made by the County Attorney’s Office.
  7. Only the Court can change the conditions of or dismiss an Order or Injunction. If, during the time the Order or Injunction is effective, there is a change of circumstances, you should contact the Court for modification or dismissal of the Order or Injunction.
  8. The Order or Injunction is effective on the defendant for one year after service.

 Orders of Protection

  1. If you have a Dissolution of Marriage (divorce) pending in Superior Court, you must request the Order of Protection from Superior Court through the Clerk of the Court’s office.
  2. If you file a Petition for a Dissolution of Marriage later, please notify this Court immediately and the Order of Protection will be transferred to Superior Court.
  3. The Defendant must be your spouse, former spouse, someone with whom you live or have lived or you must be related to the defendant or defendant’s spouse.
  4. The Judge must find that the defendant has committed or may commit an act of domestic violence. Domestic violence means:
    1. Endangerment – recklessly endangering with substantial risk of imminent death or  physical injury.
    2. Threatening – causing physical injury or serious property damage.
    3. Assault – injuring or touching with intent to injure.
    4. Trespass – entering or refusing to leave the property of another.
    5. Criminal Damage – damaging the property of another.
    6. Disorderly Conduct – fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior or unreasonable noise or use of abusive or offensive language with intent to disturb.
  5. The Judge has the authority to issue the following Orders:
    1. Prevent either party from committing acts of domestic violence.
    2. Grant one party exclusive possession of the residence.
    3. Prevent either party from coming near the residence, place of employment or school.
    4. Grant other relief necessary for protection of alleged victim(s) or other person(s).
  6. The Judge does not have the authority to:
    1. Render custody orders.
    2. Order parties to obtain counseling.
    3. Grant visitation rights.

Injunction Against Harassment

  1. Tell how the defendant has harassed you. Be specific. Just because the defendant has annoyed or alarmed you does not mean you have been harassed by the legal definition.
  2. According to the law, harassment must involve a series of acts. A single incident no matter how much it bothers you, does not constitute legal harassment. According to the law, this series of acts:
    1. Can be spread over a long or short period of time.
    2. Must show a continuity of purpose.
    3. Must be directed at a specific person – you.
    4. Must seriously alarm, annoy or harass you without serving a legitimate purpose.
    5. Must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.
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