A Protection Order is a civil remedy legally ordering a defendant (offending party) to stop all communication both direct (phone calls, text messages, email, personal visits at home/work) or indirect (message through a third party, leaving messages/gifts) with the applicant or plaintiff (victim of abuse). A Protection Order can be filed to protect either the victim and/or any minor children. There are 2 different types of Protection Orders:
1. Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order:
This civil court order is issued specifically for the protection of a victim of domestic/ intimate partner violence. The plaintiff (victim) must be able to provide objective details to establish the following against the defendant (offending party):
• Intimate Partner relationship (past/present relationship of a romantic nature).
• Actual, Attempted, or Threats of physical harm to the victim (and/or minor child).
• Actual or attempted sexual contact without the consent of the victim or a minor child under 16 years of age.
2. Protection From Stalking, Sexual Assault, or Human Trafficking (PFSSAHF) Order:
This civil court order is issued for the protection of a victim of stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking. The plaintiff (victim) must be able to provide objective details to establish one or more of the following against the defendant (offending party):
- Intentional harassment of victim which place the victim in reasonable fear for their personal safety.
- Intentional course of conduct (two or more separate acts over a period of time) directed at the victim that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the victim and serves no legitimate purpose.
- Actual or Attempted non-consensual sexual act against the victim by force, threat of force, duress, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Act that would constitute human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of a child, as defined by KS statute. Human Trafficking elements include victim (1) provided labor or sex services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion; (2) victim did not have financial gain; (3) victim endured actual or threats of physical injury or deprivation of basic needs; (4) victim not freely allowed to leave the labor/sex service arrangement.
Protection Order Applications
Within Riley County, A Protection Order application is obtained through the Riley County Court Clerk’s Office.
Riley County Courthouse
100 Courthouse Plaza
There is no charge for service.
Plaintiffs can complete the application:
(1) in-person at the Court Clerk’s Office,
(2) online portal at www.kspop.org, or
(3) printable forms from www.kansasjudicialcouncil.org/legal-forms/protection-orders (Essential forms to complete: “Information for Law Enforcement”, “Petition”, and “Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act Affidavit”).
Applications should be completed with accurate, factual details regarding the plaintiff’s (victim) relationship with the defendant (offending party) and at least one incident of abuse. Important details of incident of abuse include: date, location, parties present, actions or threats of abuse, feelings of victim, resolution to an incident of abuse. The Court Clerk’s Office is not able to provide legal advice or assistance in completing the Protection Order application; however, assistance is provided by Victim Advocate Coordinator or advocate from The Crisis Center or KSU CARE, if requested.
What Happens Next
Upon review, if the Judge agrees there is probable cause of abuse and possible risk of personal safety, a Temporary Protection Order will be issued until the Final Protection Order Hearing can be scheduled (typically within 3 weeks).
- The plaintiff (victim) can receive a copy of the Temporary Protection Order, along with the date/time of the Final Protection Order Heading, either by picking it up at the courthouse or via email (if provided through the online portal).
- The defendant (offending party) will be served the Temporary Protection Order, along with the date/time of the Final Protection Order Hearing, by RCPD Civil Process officers as soon as the location and physical contact can be made. The Temporary Protection Order is not valid until it is personally served to the defendant (offending party).
- After official service, the plaintiff (victim) is requested to contact RCPD at 785-537-2112 as soon as any direct or indirect contact is received from the defendant (offending party). This contact would constitute a Violation of Protection Order, which is a criminal offense.
Final Protection Order Hearing
At the Final Protection Order Hearing, both plaintiff (victim) and the defendant (offending party) have an equal opportunity to present factual evidence, personal testimony, and any witness testimony before the assigned Judge regarding the reported incident(s) of abuse and reason for the Final Protection Order. Judgments for Final Protection Orders are based on the preponderance of the evidence (meaning one side presented a more compelling case).
- If granted, the Final Protection Order is issued for 1 year and valid in every state within the USA. Keep a copy of the order available at all times (in car or purse) and share with appropriate parties (landlord, job, child’s school).
- If dismissed, the Temporary Protection Order expires and no longer enforceable.
- Plaintiff (victim) can apply to extend Final Protection Order prior to expiration date through Court Clerk’s Office if needed.
- If circumstances change or resolve between the plaintiff (victim) and the defendant (offending party) before the expiration of the Temporary or Final Protection Order, the plaintiff (victim) should submit “PFSSAHT and PFA Stipulation of Dismissal & Clerk’s Order” to the Court Clerk’s office. This form can be obtained (1) in-person at the Court Clerk’s Office or (2) printed online at www.kansasjudicialcouncil.org/legal-forms/protection-orders. Until this form is processed by the Court Clerk’s Office, a Protection Order remains valid and enforced.
For more information and specific details about Protection Orders, Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence has published a thorough resource guide: “Frequently Asked Questions about Protection from Abuse and Protection from Stalking Orders”