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Know the Laws: Idaho

UPDATED July 16, 2017

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A protection order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by a family member, household member or someone you used to date or are currently dating.

Who is eligible for a protection order

back to topWho can get a protection order?

You may file for a protection order if you have been the victim of abuse by:

  • Your spouse or former spouse;
  • Your parent;
  • Your brother or sister;
  • Your grandparent;
  • Family members related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage;
  • Anyone you live with or formerly lived with;
  • Anyone with whom you have had a child even if you were not married; or
  • Anyone you are or were in a dating relationship with.*
A custodial or noncustodial parent or guardian may file a petition on behalf of a minor child (under 18)** who is the victim of domestic violence.*

In Idaho, you can apply for a protection order against a current or former same-sex partner.

* I.C. § 39-6304; § 39-6303
** I.C. § 32-101

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back to topCan I get a protection order against a same-sex partner?

In Idaho, you may apply for a protection order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who can get a protection order?  You must also be the victim of an act of domestic violence, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Idaho?

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back to topHow much does it cost to get a protection order? Do I need a lawyer?

There is no cost to get a protection order.*

You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection order, however, it may be helpful to have one to make sure that your rights are protected, especially if the abuser has a lawyer.  If when you go to the hearing, the respondent (abuser) has a lawyer, you have the right to request that the hearing be delayed so that you can obtain a lawyer as well.  Also, the law says that if the judge believes that it is necessary for both parties to be represented by lawyers, the judge can enter an order to ensure that lawyers are retained. The order may require either you or respondent (or both) to pay for the costs of counsel.  If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can try to get a lawyer through a local legal services organization if you qualify.  Go to ID Finding a Lawyer for legal referrals. 

If you are representing yourself, the domestic violence organizations in your area and/or court staff may be able to answer some of your questions or help you fill out the necessary court forms. 

* I.C. § 39-6305
** I.C. § 39-6306(1)

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back to topWhat can I do if I don't qualify for a protection order?

Even if you don't qualify for an order, the abuser may be committing a crime.  To read the definitions of some crimes in Idaho, you can go to our ID Crimes page. If charges are pressed against the perpetrator, a judge may be able to order him/her to stay away from you through a criminal court protection order.

Victims of stalking and harassment can also go to the Stalking Resource Center website for more information on stalking and harassment laws, as well as ways to keep safe.

Protection orders also do not cover many types of emotional or mental abuse. If you're being emotionally abused, please contact a domestic violence organization in your area. They can help you figure out your options and offer you support. To find help in your state, please click on the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

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