Know the Laws: Kansas
UPDATED August 3, 2016
A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from an intimate partner or household member.
A protection from abuse order is also called a restraining order. It is a paper which is signed by a judge and tells the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence.
This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protection from abuse order.
"Abuse" means any of these acts when done by an "intimate partner or household member":
* Kan. Stat. § 60-3102
There are three types of protection from abuse orders in Kansas:
Emergency Protection from Abuse Order:
You can request this type of order when you need immediate protection and the court is closed. The judge must believe there is an immediate and present danger of abuse to you or your minor child. Since the emergency order is valid only until 5pm on the next day that the courthouse is open, you can apply for a protection from abuse order at the courthouse on that day (the next day that it is open).*
Temporary Protection from Abuse Order:
This type of order can be granted on your testimony or any evidence you present to the court in your application for a final protection from abuse order. If a judge finds that you or your family are in immediate danger, s/he can grant a temporary order which will last until your final hearing that will usually take place within 21 days.**
Final Protection from Abuse Order:
This type of order is awarded by a judge only after a final hearing in court in which you and the abuser each have an opportunity to present evidence and tell your different sides of the story. A final protection from abuse order lasts for up to 1 year, but may be extended for 1 year, 2 years, or even for the lifetime of the abuser if certain conditions are met.*** For more information on extending an order, see How do I change or extend my order?
* Kan. Stat. § 60-3105(a),(b)
** Kan. Stat. § 60-3106
*** Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(e)
A protection from abuse order can:
* Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(a)
** Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(d)
A "mutual" order of protection prohibits BOTH parties from abusing, molesting, or interfering with the privacy or rights of each other. It may order that BOTH parties not contact each other.
If you file for a PFA and the defendant (the abuser) files and serves you with a counter-petition saying that you have abused him/her, there are generally two ways in which mutual order may be issued:
Many times the judges or lawyers will encourage people to consent to an order against them using the rationale that "if you do not plan on violating the order, it shouldn’t bother you to have an order against you." However, this way of thinking can be dangerous. If the abuser gets the restraining order, s/he can easily try to falsely report a violation or trick you into violating the order so that you get arrested, which can have consequences on future custody cases, restraining order cases, or immigration matters. A judge cannot force you to consent, however. You have the right to a hearing where you can defend yourself and then the judge will have to decide if the abuser proved his/her case against you.
If a counter-petition is filed against you or if you are urged to consent to a mutual order, think seriously about getting an attorney to help you. Go to our KS Finding a Lawyer page.
* Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(b)
You can file a protection from abuse order in any district court in the state.*
* Kan. Stat. § 60-3103