CINDI MULLINS ( read )
CIRCUIT COURT OF SALINE COUNTY, MISSOURI
ADULT ORDERS OF PROTECTION
INFORMATION FOR BOTH PARTIES
Missouri’s Domestic Violence Act provides protective relief for
victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.
Chapter 455, Missouri Revised Statutes
What is an Adult Order of Protection?
An order of protection is an order issued by a Missouri Court pursuant to the Missouri’s Domestic Violence Act that restrains a person from abusing, stalking, sexually assaulting, or harassing another person.
An order of protection is valid in every state until it expires. There are two types:
1. Ex Parte Order of Protection – a temporary emergency order issued to protect the
“Petitioner” until a court hearing in 15 days or less (unless extended for good cause).
2. Full Order of Protection – an order entered after the court hears evidence from the
parties at a hearing on the record. It is issued for up to one year.
Who can file for protection?
Any person 17 years of age or older or otherwise emancipated AND RELATIONSHIP to abuser:
▪ Spouse or former spouse
▪ Relative by blood or marriage
▪ Current or former live-in girlfriend/boyfriend
▪ Have a child together
▪ Had or have a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature OR
Victim of “stalking”
Where is the Petition Filed?
➢ In the county where the petitioner resides, OR
➢ Where the alleged incident of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault occurred, OR
➢ Where the respondent may be served.
During Business Hours: At the Saline County Circuit Clerk’s Office
After Hours: At the Saline County Sheriff’s Department located East of 65 Hwy on MO 20
(Forms are provided at these locations)
*Notice to Petitioner: The Respondent will receive a copy of the petition with service.
It is important for you to determine if your situation is appropriate for an Adult Order of
Protection. (See the definitions that follow).
You can receive an order of protection when the abuser does one of
▪ Places or attempts to place you in fear of physical harm (assault)
▪ Causes you physical harm (battery)
▪ Forces or threatens to force you to do something or stops you from doing something you
have a right to do (coercion)
▪ Forces you to engage in any sexual act without your consent (sexual assault)
▪ Engages, more than once, in conduct that causes you substantial emotional distress
▪ Holds, confines, detains or abducts you against your will (unlawful imprisonment)
What about stalking?
You are being “stalked” when a person:
▪ repeatedly engages in an unwanted pattern of behavior (2 or more
▪ that serves no legitimate purpose
▪ that reasonably causes you to fear a danger of physical harm (feeling
frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed)
This may include unwanted contact or communication such as following you, texting you, phone calls, showing up at your workplace, etc.…
What is covered in an Order of Protection?
The Order of Protection may address: (some issues are limited to specific situations)
▪ Restraining abuse or stalking
▪ Prohibiting entry to dwelling unit
▪ Prohibiting communication in any manner
Orders regarding custody and support of child are not appropriate when child is subject to
existing court order or a pending case.
What help is available?
• The Victim Advocate for the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney may be able to provide
additional assistance in seeking an Order of Protection and advising you of other services that may be available. The Victim Advocate is located on the 1st floor of the Saline
County Courthouse and may be reached at (660) 886-7778.
• Legal Aid of Western Missouri may also be able to provide some assistance. You may
contact them at (660) 747-7101 or visit www.lawmo.org.
Steps to apply for an Order of Protection
Step One: Fill out a Petition for an Order of Protection:
The Circuit Clerk’s Office will provide forms and can assist with filling them
out (but cannot provide you legal advice). No filing fee is required.
Filling out the Petition:
• Describe the most recent episode of abuse in detail
• Next, go backwards in time to describe prior episodes
• Be sure to include exact dates if known and state specifically what the
abuser did to you.
• Explain why you are afraid now.
Step Two: Ex Parte Order of Protection
• The Circuit Clerk will take your petition to a judge.
• You must wait for the judge to review your petition. This normally takes
– 90 minutes.
A judge will make the initial decision solely on what is written in the Petition
for an Order of Protection.
• You will be told whether your petition is granted or denied.
• If an Ex Parte Order of Protection is granted it is a temporary order good
for a period not to exceed 15 days unless extended for good cause.
• You will be given a date to return to court for a hearing on a Full Order of
Step Three: Service of Ex Parte Order
• The Ex Parte Order is valid immediately and entered in the statewide computerized
MULES system available to law enforcement.
• A law enforcement officer will serve a copy of the Ex Parte Order of Protection on
the person you identify as the abuser.
• Request to receive notice when the Ex Parte Order is served.
• Call law enforcement if that person tries to contact you.
• Arrange to come to court on the hearing date you are given.
Step Four: Prepare for the Hearing
• A court date is set if the judge grants an Ex Parte Order or issues a summons with a
notice of hearing. You will prove your case at the hearing. Consider having a lawyer to
help you do this).
• If the Ex Parte Order or summons is not served prior to the hearing date, you still must
appear in court to request that the Ex Parte Order be extended and a new hearing date set.
• Ask witnesses who have seen or heard abusive behavior to attend the
hearing & gather evidence you can safely get: photos, medical reports,
damaged property or clothing. Make a written list of what you need to say
at the hearing.
Step Five: The Hearing
• Be on time for your hearing.
• You will be sworn and must testify about the episodes of abuse or
stalking. A record is made of what you say.
• Be sure to tell the judge about any incidents since the Ex Parte Order was
entered. You must tell the judge why you are still afraid now and exactly
what you want covered in the Full Order.
• The judge will allow both sides to testify.
• The person you are accusing may ask you questions. Try to remain calm.
• Direct your testimony only to the judge. Do not argue with other
Step Six: The Full Order of Protection
• You may be asked if you will agree to entry of an Order without a hearing (this is called a
“consent order”). A consent order does not require the person you are accusing to admit
to conduct and no record of evidence is made.
• If the judge hears evidence, a decision is made to “grant” or “deny” the Full Order of
• If granted, keep a copy of the Order handy so you can show it to law enforcement if
necessary. Provide a copy to your workplace and other places you go on a regular basis,
such as a childcare center.
Step Seven: Renewing Your Order of Protection
• The Full Order of Protection expires on the date stated in the order.
• Normally, the Order is in effect for six months or one year. It can be renewed twice.
• You should request a renewal at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the Order.
• The Order can be renewed without a new incident of abuse if application
is made before the Order expires. (Note: some orders may provide for automatic renewal
unless a later hearing is requested).
Will my contact information be disclosed?
Be sure to tell the court clerk if you want your address to be kept confidential. You will fill out
an additional form to request your address not be disclosed in court documents. Missouri’s Safe
at Home program allows you to establish a PO Box address in Jefferson City through the office
of the Secretary of State. Your mail will be forwarded to you. (Call 866-509-1409 or visit
Can I violate my own Order?
• Not a good idea! Your voluntary contact with a person ordered not to contact you may
make it very difficult to enforce or renew the Order.
• Any custody, visitation and support orders will stay in effect during the Order of
Protection. Consider using a third party for exchange of children.
• An order for custody, visitation or support entered after the Order of Protection is issued
may invalidate that portion of your Order of Protection.
What if the abuser violates the Order?
• An abusive violation of an Order of Protection is a criminal offense.
• Contact law enforcement immediately.
• An abuser may be arrested and prosecuted for certain crimes.
• A Motion for Civil Contempt may be filed for non-abusive violations
(such as not paying support as required by the Order of Protection)