Orders of Protection in Missouri
In Missouri, orders of protection laws are detailed in Chapter 455 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. According to this statute, orders of protection "shall be to protect the petitioner from domestic violence and may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the petitioner's safety."
The Buxner Law Firm handle order of protection cases, so whether you need to file an order or you have been served one, contact our St. Louis family lawyers. Start by scheduling a free in-office consultation.
What can an order of protection do?
Orders of protection can be filed to accomplish a number of different things. These protection orders can prohibit a person from further acts, attempts, or threats of abuse or stalking. Essentially, any act that warranted the order of protection can be prohibited by the order of protection.
Many people also seek additional actions with the order of protection, such as:
- Spousal maintenance
- Child custody
- Child support
- Child visitation
Orders of protection can last for up to one year and are issued for a minimum of 180 days.
Who can file an order of protection?
Orders of protection are primarily for family law issues and are filed between parties who are of the same family, household, or are intimate partners. An exception to this rule would be in cases of stalking. Anyone can file an order of protection as long as they are at least 17 years old. If the violence or threatened violence involves a child younger than 17, the child's parent or guardian can file on their behalf.
Modifying & Renewing an Order of Protection
Orders of protection last one year at most, and all orders of protection are issued for a specific period of time. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances, orders of protection can be modified. If the same threatening circumstances exist after one year, the petitioner can file a motion to renew.
The Court Process for Orders of Protection
Once a petitioner files a valid request for an order of protection, the petition gets presented to a judge. All accusations of domestic violence or threatened violence are taken seriously, so the judge will view the petition immediately after it has been filed. After reviewing the petition, if the judge feels that the petitioner is in danger, he or she will issue an ex parte order of protection, meaning the order will go into effect immediately.
There will then be a hearing on the petition for a full order of protection. If you are the petitioner, you will have to attend this hearing. If you were served an order of protection and you do not attend, the judge will likely grant the full order of protection. While it is not necessary an attorney be present at this hearing, it would be to your advantage to have representation familiar with laws governing protection orders.
The judge will look for evidence that proves the petitioner was abused or threatened, such as:
- Proof that the respondent tried to hurt the petitioner
- Proof that the respondent tried to make the petitioner afraid of being hurt
- Proof that the respondent threatened, harassed, or tormented the petitioner
- Proof that the respondent made the petitioner do something against their will
- Proof that the respondent habitually followed them or loitered around their home / place of work.
The judge will need enough evidence to be convinced that the petitioner deserves the order and all the requested protections it provides (Additional information on the Missouri order of protection process).
Contact Our St. Louis Protection Order Attorneys
Reach out to The Buxner Law Firm to discuss representation at an order of protection hearing. Our St. Louis family law attorneys have been representing individuals and families for more than 20 years. Call (314) 863-6000 for a free, in-office, 30 minute consultation to discuss the details of your case and learn your legal options.
The Buxner Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today.