Domestic Abuse Orders for Protection
VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MAY SEEK AN ORDER FOR PROTECTION (O.F.P.)
An Order for Protection (O.F.P.) is a court order. It orders the abuser not to hurt the victim. It can also make the abuser leave the victim’s home and/or cease contact with the victim. If the abuser violates the Order for Protection, call the police. Violating an Order for Protection is a misdemeanor crime and the violator can be arrested.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic Abuse is any physical harm including:
- Pulling hair
- Throwing things at you
- Burning you with hot food, beverages or cigarettes
- Locking you in a room
- Creating fear of immediate physical harm (threats) which can include:
- Saying things like “I’ll kill you if you leave me,” or “If you don’t give me the car keys, I’ll hit you harder than last time.”
- Waving a gun or knife at you
- Smashing furniture
- Killing your pets
If the abuser has hurt you in the past and these words or actions now cause you to believe the abuser is about to do it again, that is a threat of physical harm.
- Criminal Sexual Conduct – This conduct includes forced intercourse or forced contact with intimate body parts, even if you are married. For a child under 18, this also includes any sex or sexual contact.
- Terroristic threats which can include:
- Bomb threats
- Threatening with a fake gun
- Threatening to commit any crime of violence
- Interference with an emergency call including:
- Emergency 9-1-1 calls
- Emergency calls for medical or ambulance service
- Emergency calls to police or the fire department
- Other emergency calls
It is not necessary for a victim to report the violence to the police in order to request an O.F.P. but the Scott County Sheriff’s Office strongly recommends a party does report the violence. This allows the criminal justice system to intervene in the situation.
In an emergency, always call 9-1-1.
Domestic abuse occurs to a family or household member if committed by a family or household member. Family or household member is defined as:
- Spouse and former spouse
- Parents and children
- Persons related by blood
- Persons who are currently residing together or who have resided together in the past
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
- A man or a woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship
An adult may file a petition for an Order for Protection on behalf of any victim who is a minor, is considered vulnerable because of mental deficiency, or is of an advanced age.
When a judge reviews the Petition and Affidavit for an O.F.P., the judge will determine if an Ex Parte Temporary O.F.P. should be issued. The judge may order a hearing or issue an order for up to 2 years.
The Scott County Sheriff’s Office Civil Process unit will arrange for service within Scott County. If the respondent (the person the O.F.P. is filed against) lives in another county, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office will send the order to the correct sheriff’s office.
In most cases, these orders can be served at any time and anywhere. It is helpful to have as much information as possible to assist the deputies in the service of the order.
To assist in the service of the order, the petitioner can fill out the Domestic Abuse/Restraining Order Information form on the right hand menu under forms. This form can be turned in to the Sheriff’s Office with the original Order for Protection or Harassment Restraining Order to be served.
The court administrator does not charge a filing fee for the Order for Protection, nor does the Sheriff’s Office charge a fee for service.
Victims of domestic violence may seek an Order for Protection (O.F.P.) from Scott County Court Administration by calling 952-496-8200.
If you currently have a Domestic Order for Protection, carry a copy with you at all times.