If you or your children have been domestically abused by someone, or you fear that someone will domestically abuse you, you should call the police and/or a domestic abuse hotline (800-897-5465), and you should file a Request for a Protective Order. A Protective Order can protect you and others in your life (children, cohabitants, etc.) from someone who is either related to you, lives with you, has lived with you in the past, or is the parent of your child (born or unborn). You must have either been harmed by him or her, or you must be afraid that they will harm you. The person against whom you seek a Protective Order must be at least 16 years old (or married or emancipated).
A Protective Order can:
- Order the alleged abuser (the Respondent) to not harm you (the Petitioner), your children or anyone who lives with you.
- Order the alleged abuser to stay away from you and your home, job, vehicle or school, and not to contact or harass you in any way.
- Order the alleged abuser not to have any guns or other weapons.
- Order temporary possession of the home, car and essential personal property.
- Order temporary custody, parent-time and child support for the children.
- Order temporary alimony if you and the alleged abuser are married.
- Order the children to not be removed from Utah.
The police can arrest the alleged abuser for violating the Protective Order, after which a judge can order the alleged abuser to pay a fine, go to jail, or both.
The following behaviors count as "harm," even if someone only attempts or threatens to do them:
- Physical attacks: Hitting, kicking, pushing, pulling hair, using a weapon, or other types of physical attacks.
- Stalking, harassing, kidnapping, sexual assault.
- Restricting movement, or stopping someone from calling for help.
- Breaking things or throwing things to intimidate.
To file a Protective Order:
There is no fee to file a protective order. You can walk into any courthouse or domestic violence shelter to fill out the forms and file them with the court. Make sure to bring ID. Or you can fill them out from home by visiting either the OCAP website or this website, preparing and printing your documents, and bringing them in to a courthouse. Wait to sign the Request for a Protective Order until you are in the presence of the court clerk.