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Know the Laws: Utah

UPDATED March 29, 2017

Dating Violence Protective Orders

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A civil order that provides protection to a victim of dating violence or abuse by a dating partner.

Basic info and definitions

back to topWhat is the legal definition of dating violence in Utah?

For the purposes of getting a dating violence protective order, you must be the victim of dating violence or abuse by a dating partnerDating violence is when your dating partner commits:

  • any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm; or
  • any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm against you.*

Abuse by a dating partner is defined as:

  • causing or attempting to cause you physical harm; or
  • placing you in reasonable fear of imminent (oncoming) physical harm.**

* UT ST § 78B-7-402(4)
** UT ST § 78B-7-402(1)

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of a dating relationship?

A dating relationship is a social relationship that is romantic or intimate (or the relationship is one where romance or intimacy is the goal of you or the other person), but a dating relationship does not have to involve sexual intimacy.*

In deciding whether you and the abuser have a dating relationship, the judge will consider the whole situation and surrounding circumstances, including:

  • whether you and the abuser formed an interpersonal bond beyond casual socializing;
  • the length of your relationship;
  • the nature and amount of interactions between you and the abuser, including communications showing the intent (plan) to start a dating relationship;
  • ongoing expectations of you and the abuser about the relationship;
  • whether you and the abuser presented yourselves as a couple to others either by actions or statements; and
  • whether there are other reasons to support or disprove a finding that a dating relationship exists.**

* UT ST § 78B-7-402(3)(a)
** UT ST § 78B-7-402(3)(c)

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back to topWhat types of dating violence protective orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of dating violence protective orders in Utah:

  1. a temporary (ex parte) dating violence protective order; and
  2. a dating violence protective order issued after notice.

A temporary (ex parte) dating violence protective order can be granted without notice to the abuser.*  The judge must schedule a hearing date for a final protective order within 20 days after issuing the temporary order.**  A judge cannot extend your order for more than 20 days unless you are unable to be at the hearing, the abuser has not been served, or there are other extreme circumstances.  However, the temporary order cannot be extended for more than 180 days from when the judge first issued the order.***

A dating violence protective order issued after notice and the opportunity for a hearing can last for 180 days.****

* UT ST § 78B-7-402(6)
** UT ST § 78B-7-405(1)(a)
*** UT ST § 78B-7-405(b),(c)
**** UT ST § 78B-7-405(e)

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Getting the order

back to topWho is eligible for a dating violence protective order?

You can file for a dating violence protective order if you are a victim of abuse or dating violence by a dating partner.*  A dating partner is someone who is either emancipated from his/her parents (which means that person is a legal adult) or 18 years old (or older) and is or has been in a dating relationship with you.**  You do not have to have taken any steps to end the relationship before filing for a dating violence protective order.***  If you and the abuser are married, were previously married, have a child together, or currently or previously lived together, you are not eligible for a dating violence protective order but may be eligible for a protective order due to domestic violence/abuse.****

* UT ST § 78B-7-404(2)
** UT ST § 78B-7-404(4)
*** UT ST § 78B-7-403(2)
**** 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32); UT ST § 78B-7-403(6)(a)

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back to topWhere can I file for a dating violence protective order?

You can file for a dating violence protective order in district court.  The district court judge will decide whether or not to grant you a temporary (ex parte) order based on the facts of your case.*

If the district court judge does not grant you a temporary (ex parte) order and you still want a dating violence protective order, your case will still be scheduled for a hearing and the abuser will be served with notice unless your case is dismissed.  You will have a chance to prove that you need the order at a hearing.**

* See UT ST § 78B-7-404
** UT ST § 78B-7-405(3)

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back to topWhat are the steps for getting a dating violence protective order?

The steps to get a dating violence protective order are similar to the steps to get a protective order due to domestic violence/abuse, but you may fill out different paperwork.  The court clerk will provide you with the forms you need and with non-legal help filling them out.*  You can find the contact information for your clerk on the UT Courthouse Locations page.  You can also download court forms on our UT Court Forms page.

* UT ST § 78B-7-406(3)(a)

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back to topHow much does it cost to file for an order?

There is no fee to file for an order or to have a dating violence protective order served by law enforcement.*

* UT ST § 78B-7-406(2)

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