How to Get a Restraining Order in Alabama
A restraining order is a stay-away order issued by the courts in Alabama ordering one party to stay away entirely from another party. A restraining order in Alabama prevents the offender from coming within a specific distance of their victim for a stipulated period.
Filing a harassment restraining order in Alabama is a challenging process for many. Keep reading to know more about restraining orders in Alabama and find out how to file a restraining order in Alabama with DoNotPay's relationship protection product.
How Restraining Orders Work in Alabama
An Alabama restraining order bars the offender from coming close to you or contacting you. In Alabama, the criminal and civil courts have the mandate to serve a restraining order. Before receiving a restraining order in Alabama, the victim must prove that they are under threat or harmed by an abuser. Once the order is served, the abuser must get a copy. Otherwise, it's not valid.
How Much Is a Restraining Order in Alabama?
You may wonder, how much does a restraining order cost in Alabama? The restraining order Alabama cost is free of charge in most states.
When to Get a Restraining Order in Alabama?
Feeling unsafe and wondering when you should get a restraining order for harassment? Do so if you can check any of these statements in the list:
- When someone close to you has threatened your safety or the safety of your children, they could be your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, or relative. It does not matter.
- When a former partner or a random person is stalking you, regardless of whether you've received any direct threats, no one should cost you peace of mind.
- When an individual is physically or sexually abusive towards you and your loved ones, a restraining order will help you protect yourself and your loved ones from any further attacks.
Types of Restraining Orders in Alabama
Women’s Law states that Alabama has two restraining orders, similar to Florida. It differs from states like Texas and California, with three restraining orders. The kinds of Alabama Restraining orders are:
|Temporary (Ex parte) Protection from Abuse Orders||The Temporary Ex Parte protection order is a temporary restraining order Alabama served when there's evidence of an immediate threat of abuse. You do not need a court hearing for this protective order. A temporary PFA order can help protect you from the offender while waiting for the court hearing. In some cases, the judge may take up to three days to issue the order.|
|Final Protection from Abuse Orders||This order requires a court hearing with both parties present. The court serves this order against serious allegations such as physical harm, sexual harm, or use of weapons. Each party gets a chance to present their case. After that, the judge decides on the right order to serve. The final restraining order is permanent in Alabama, and only the judge can alter it. Attending the hearing date of the PFA is mandatory for both parties. If the aggressor fails to show up, the judge may serve the Final PFA order ex parte. Consequently, if the victim fails to appear, the court may nullify the whole process.|
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last in Alabama?
In Alabama, protective orders usually last for one year except in particular circumstances. As a victim, you may apply on behalf of your children or a dependent adult in your home.
What Happens When You Violate a Restaurant Order in Alabama?
Violation of a protective order is a Class "A" misdemeanor. A class 'A' misdemeanor will cost you a fine of up to $6000 or a maximum of one year in jail. A second conviction leads to mandatory jail time of up to 30 days, besides other penalties and fines. Three or more convictions earn a class 'C' felony. This warrants imprisonment of between 1-10 years with a fine of up to $15000.
How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Alabama
If anyone has stalked, harassed, or abused you and is wondering how to get a restraining order in Alabama, do this:
Visit the Nearest Civil Office or County Courthouse for a Protective Order
Let the clerk know that you want to file a petition for a PFA order. If you feel like there is an active threat, you may get an emergency Ex Parte to protect you till the end of your hearing. Remember to carry your official identification documents. Also, present the following details of the abuser:
- A clear description of their physical appearance and vehicle plate number.
- Their history of drug use or gun ownership
- A photo for identification purposes
- Details on the nature of your relationship
- Their addresses and places of employment
- Copies of other relevant court papers involving you and the abuser, if present.
Fill Out the Forms and File Them With the Clerk
After stating your situation, the clerk will give you forms to fill out. Ensure that you understand the content in the paperwork. You can ask for clarification—present specific and detailed information about the incident. Any history relevant to the petition may be helpful. Remember to give out your residential address for easy accessibility. However, you can choose to keep your address confidential if the abuser does not know it.
Ex Parte Hearing (Appearing Before a Judge)
Next is the Ex Parte hearing, which means that only you, the victim, will be present. The judge will ask questions to determine your need for a PFA order. The judge may grant you an emergency protective order. Ensure that all the information is accurate, and always keep a copy with you wherever you go.
Service of Process
After the ex parte hearing, the clerk will issue a document to notify the abuser of the court hearing date. The victim also receives a copy of the filed petition and an emergency PFA if applicable.
Final PFA Hearing
During the ex-Parte hearing, the judge sets a final hearing date within ten days of the initial hearing. You must show up at the hearing; otherwise, the whole process expires. Also, not showing up for your PFA hearing may lower your chances of getting another.
Also, the abuser must show up for the hearing. If they fail to show up, the judge may still issue a PFA or move the hearing to a new date. In the case of intentional absenteeism, the court may charge the abuser.
This is the standard procedure; however, this process is inconvenient as you may have to set at least two full days to fulfill the process. Also, filling out long forms can be a daunting experience.
Hire a Lawyer
Alternatively, you may hire an attorney to file your petition and represent you in court if you don't know how to file a restraining order in Alabama. This may be a quicker option. However, for most people, private attorneys happen to be too expensive.
DoNotPay Can Help
We understand the numerous reasons why filing a petition on your own may be highly inconveniencing, especially with what you could be going through.
We are here to help. Our relationship protection product is intuitive and is easily accessible and usable in the comfort of your home. All you need is a PC or Smartphone, and you can do it.
DoNotPay's product helps you acquire forms, fill them and submit them at your convenience. Also, our product offers free access to Alabama restraining order laws.
Want to get started? Do the following:
- Search for relationship protection on DoNotPay.
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And that's it. DoNotPay will compile for you the forms you need to fill out and give you detailed instructions on how to file for a restraining order in your jurisdiction.
Experience a Super-Easy Method to Obtain Restraining Orders
At DoNotPay, we believe that acquiring a protective order should be easy and convenient for everyone. Our product manages to make that possible with easy steps to file a restraining order in Alabama. Also, our product gives access to legal advice according to your state law. Give our product a try.