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Know the Laws: Alaska

UPDATED September 14, 2017

Enforcing an Out-of-State Protection Order in Alaska

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You can have your protective order from another state or territory enforced in Alaska.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Alaska

back to topCan my out-of-state or tribal order be enforced in Alaska?

Yes.  A protective order that is issued by a court in another state or territory, a military tribunal, or a tribal court has the same effect and must be recognized and enforced in the same manner as a protective order issued by a court in Alaska as long as one of the following is true:

  1. The order is "related to domestic violence" and it meets the federal law requirements (explained here).  If the order appears to be authentic (real), the police should assume that it is valid and enforce it;* or
  2. You filed (registered) a certified copy of the order with the clerk of court in any judicial district in Alaska. (If you register the order, it can be related to something other than domestic violence.)  Once you register it, the court will deliver the order to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for entry into the central registry of protective orders.**

* Alaska Statute §§ 18.66.140(b),(d); 11.56.740(a)(1)
** Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(a),(c)

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back to topHow do I know if my out-of-state protective order is good under federal law?

An protective order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent, or threatening acts, or sexual violence against another person, or it is issued to forbid contact or communication with another person or it is issued to order the abuser to stay away from another person.*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case- (in other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte (orders issued with only one party present) and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled within a "reasonable time" after the order is issued.**

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 USC § 2266(5)(A)
** 18 USC § 2265(a) & (b)

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Alaska?

No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Alaska.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders pages for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Alaska, you may be able to get a new one issued in Alaska but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Alaska.  To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Alaska, visit our AK Domestic Violence Protective Orders page.

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back to topHow do I get my out-of-state order enforced by local law enforcement or state troopers in Alaska?

You can call your local law enforcement agency or state trooper office if the abuser violated the order.  When the police get there, you should show them a copy of your order.  A protective order issued in another state that appears to be authentic (real) is presumed to be valid and the officer is required by law to enforce the order just as if it were issued in Alaska.* 

The officer will likely check your order to see whether it has been filed in the central registry for protective orders, which would happen if you filed (registered) your order in a court in Alaska.  If you do not have a copy of your order with you, but you filed it in an Alaskan court, a local law enforcement officer or state trooper can likely get the information they need to enforce your order from the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN), which contains information from the central registry for protective orders.

* Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(b),(d); see also § 11.56.740

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in Alaska?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Alaska can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.  To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area, click here AK Finding a Lawyer.

* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

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Registering your out-of-state order in Alaska

back to topWhat is the National Crime Information Center Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database that contains orders of protection, used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

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back to topHow do I file my out-of-state or tribal order with the court system?

You can file a certified copy of any out-of-state, unexpired protective order with the clerk of court in any judicial district in Alaska.  It can be an order issued by a court in another state or territory, a United States military tribunal, or a tribal court.* To see contact information for courthouses where you can file your order, go to our AK Courthouse Locations page.  The clerk will file stamp the order and assign it a civil case number from the Alaska court system.  No copy or notice is distributed to the respondent, the file is not reviewed by a judge, and no hearing is set.

The clerk will then give the order to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for entry into the central registry (the same distribution procedure used for Alaskan protective orders).** It is important to get a copy of your stamped order and keep a copy on you at all times, in case there is any delay in the order getting entered into the Alaska central registry for protective orders.  

* Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(b)
** Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(c)

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back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our AK State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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