Get Familiar with Missouri’s 2 Types of Orders of Protection
Relationships can be a source of joy and grief—but when they turn abusive and violent, it’s time to get help. If you’ve been the victim of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, assault, battery, sexual violence and more, you may need an order of protection.
Orders of protection are also known as restraining orders. If they’re granted, they limit the abuser from approaching their target. This may include stopping them from contacting the victim, ordering them to stay away from physical locations and other forms of harassment.
Missouri has two types of protection orders: an ex parte order and a full protection order. Read on to learn about the difference, and how you can establish that an order of protection is necessary.
Ex parte protective orders
Ex parte orders in Missouri are also known as temporary restraining orders. Ex parte means “from one side,” meaning that a judge can grant one on a limited basis without a full hearing. The order can be granted without the abuser’s presence in court.
Ex parte protective orders are usually good for only 15 days. They can be granted when a judge feels that there is an immediate and present danger of violence to you. Within those 15 days, a full evidentiary hearing must be conducted. Otherwise, the ex parte order will expire—along with its protections.
If the judge doesn’t believe that you have good enough cause for an ex parte order, they can still give you notice of a hearing. Even though you don’t have the temporary restraining order protections, you have a date to show good cause at the evidentiary hearing. If the judge finds your evidence sufficient, you will be granted a full protection order.
Full protective orders
Full protective orders are usually granted for a period of time between 180 days and one year. However, your order may be extended between two and ten years if the judge feels there is evidence that the abuser poses a serious danger to you or your children’s physical and mental health.
During a full protective order hearing, the judge will consider evidence presented by both petitioner and respondent. This can include the respondent’s criminal history, history of causing physical harm, stalking and assault, previous protective orders and whether the abuser violated protective orders, parole or probation orders.
If your protective order is granted, it can either be set to automatically renew or you can petition for a new one each time it expires.
Let us guide you through the protective order process
People who apply for orders of protection are often in dangerous, frightening situations. When this happens to you, it can be overwhelming. Working with a good family law attorney can help you navigate the process and give you the peace of mind you need to feel safe going about your everyday life.