How to File an Out-of-State Restraining Order
If you've already gone through the trouble of getting a restraining order, you know how tiresome it can be! You've paid the court costs, gathered proof of harassment, and may have even relocated. After all that, many people worry about the validity of out-of-state restraining orders.
The good news is that, in most cases, your restraining order can still be carried out in a different state. However, different states have rules about how long that protection lasts. To ensure that your restraining order stays valid for as long as possible, consult DoNotPay.
How Do Out-of-State Restraining Orders Work?
Initial restraining orders can be filed if you've been a victim of stalking, harassment, or domestic abuse. You can also successfully get a restraining order even if you've only received threats from the harassing party.
Once that order is filed, it prevents someone from:
- Interacting with you over email, text, phone calls, or in-person
- Entering your home or place of work
- Causing property damage
- Interacting with your pets or minor children (These orders can even grant you sole custody of any children involved.)
Obviously, the same zero-tolerance policies related to domestic abuse and threats apply in every state. Therefore, you don't need to provide any additional evidence to have your restraining order honored. However, it does affect the restrained party's punishment if they violate the order. They can only be charged in the state where the original order was issued.
Special Restrictions for Out-of-State Restraining Orders
All final protective orders for domestic abuse, no-contact cases, and stalking will be honored to the fullest extent in another state. A final protective order is the highest form of restraining order, usually lasting one year.
Ex parte orders can also usually be enforced in a different state. This is a temporary restraining order issued by a judge for victims who need a break from abuse. These orders are usually only valid for around three weeks, after which you'll have to apply for a final protective order.
An emergency protective order cannot be carried over in every state, though there are a few exceptions. This restraining order lasts for one business day and is only issued for plaintiffs in immediate danger. That singular business day should be used to visit your local courthouse and apply for an ex parte.
In addition to these, all restraining order terms can only be modified in the state where the order was originally filed. This also applies to extensions and cancellations.
Check Your State's Policy on Out-of-State Restraining Orders
While most restraining orders are still enforced in every state, there are some exceptions. For example, in Pennsylvania, a PFA (Protection From Abuse Order) is only valid for that state. Some temporary restraining orders also can't be enforced in different states.
To be safe, check your state's restraining order policies:
How to Get Out-of-State Protection for Your Restraining Order
Unless your current restraining order is set to expire, it will carry over to another state. While out-of-state restraining orders are 100% protected under federal law, local officers aren't always aware of that. If the restrained party shows up at your home, the police may only ask the offender to leave.
Without proper enforcement of the restraining order, the restrained party could attempt to invade your privacy multiple times. We recommend keeping a copy of the order on your person at all times to show an officer. If possible, locate your state's specific code for enforcing out-of-state restraining orders.
Alternatively, you can register your restraining order on the NCIC-POF (National Crime Information Center Protection Order File.) This is a database that enforces all kinds of protection orders nationwide.
To register your restraining order out-of-state, you need to:
- Obtain a certified copy of your protective order from the courthouse where it was issued.
- Take it to the local courthouse of your new county. Alternatively, you have the order faxed from the original courthouse.
- Appear in person to sign a Foreign Protection Order Affidavit. This form is an acknowledgment that everything on the order is still correct and up-to-date.
- Once that's done, your form will automatically be archived on the NCIC-POF.
However, this won't work if the restraining order expires before you can get it registered. Many people don't realize that they have to have the order extended in its original state. The NCIC-POF registry isn't even available to the public, so you have no way to check!
DoNotPay Can Enforce Your Out-of-State Restraining Order on Your Behalf
You've already done the hard work of filing a restraining order and shouldn't have to live through the process all over again! If you're worried about your personal safety in another state, DoNotPay can give you peace of mind.
Here's how to keep your out-of-state restraining order current with the help of DoNotPay:
- Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay.
- Answer a few easy questions on our File a Restraining Order product.
- Submit the form and you're done!
Solving an issue through DoNotPay is always better because:
- We get your restraining order issues resolved as quickly as possible.
- We don't require any long legal forms.
- Our product is specifically designed to get you the best outcome!
DoNotPay Manages All Kinds of Restraining Order Problems
What if you have a restraining order issued in California, but the restrained party is trying to contest the order in Florida? Will your order be affected if you move back to your original state? DoNotPay can help you answer all these questions and more!
DoNotPay Is Your #1 Resource for Legal Tips
Most people don't even know where to start when it comes to legal protection! When you create a DoNotPay account, we'll do the research for you. DoNotPay will guide you through every step for:
- Obtaining divorce certificates
- Creating legal agreements
- Filing police reports
- Taking your case to small claims court