Know the Laws: Mississippi
UPDATED November 26, 2012
A protective order is a civil order that provides protection from physical abuse, stalking, sexual abuse and threats of abuse by someone who meets a specific relationship requirement.
This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a domestic violence protective order.
Under MS law, “abuse” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between spouses, former spouses, persons living as spouses or who formerly lived as spouses, persons having a child in common, other relatives who live together or formerly lived together or between people who have a current or former dating relationship:
A protective order is a court order that is designed to stop your abuser from hurting you and your family.
There are 2 types of protective orders.
A temporary order is designed to offer you immediate, emergency protection from the abuser. Temporary orders are granted only if you can prove to the judge through your testimony or evidence that you need one to prevent immediate harm to you or your family. A judge will assume that if you are asking for a temporary order you will also want a permanent order.
A temporary order generally lasts until the court hearing that you must have in order to receive a permanent order. This usually takes place within 10 days after the abuser has been presented, or served, with the temporary order. The orders can be extended for up to 20 days.*
You may receive a temporary order ex parte, which means without the knowledge of the abuser, or his presence in the courtroom.
A permanent order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. It offers longer-term legal protection than the temporary order. A permanent order lasts up to three years and the expiration date will be clearly written on the order.
However, if you are given temporary custody, visitation or child support in a final domestic abuse protection order, those terms are only effective for 180 days. For a longer lasting order adderssing those issues, you would have to file separate petitions for custody, visitation or support. If at the end of the one-hundred-eighty-day period, neither party has filed a separate petition regarding those issues, the custody, visitation or support terms will go back to whatever order was in effect regarding those topics when the domestic abuse protection order was granted.**
* MS Code § 93-21-13(1)
** MS Code § 93-21-15(1)(c)
A temporary order can:
A permanent order can do all of the things that a temporary order can do (listed above) and also:
Note: The protective order will have a warning to the abuser that possessing a firearm may be against federal law. (See our MS State Gun Laws and Federal Gun Laws pages for more information). However, to try to get local police to enforce the firearm restriction, you can ask the judge to include in the protective order that the abuser has to hand over any firearms in his possession to the authorities and forbid him from buying firearms.
* MS Code § 93-21-15(1)(a) & (2)(a)