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Know the Laws: Kansas

UPDATED September 22, 2017

Protection from Stalking or Sexual Assault Orders

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A protection from stalking order is a civil order that provides protection from someone who has stalked or sexually assaulted you, regardless of the relationship.

Basic information

back to topWhat is the legal definition of stalking in Kansas?

Stalking is intentional harassment that puts you in reasonable fear for your safety.  Harassment means repeated behaviors or actions (a "course of conduct") that seriously frighten or annoy you and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.  The "course of conduct" must include two or more separate acts over a period of time (even a short period of time) that shows a continuing purpose by the offender.  Also, there must be no legitimate (valid) reason for these actions or behaviors.*  

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a02(b),(c),(d)

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back to topWhat is the legal definition of sexual assault in Kansas?

“Sexual assault” means:

  • a sexual act that was done to someone without his/her consent;
  • an attempted sexual act that was committed using force, the threat of force, or duress (pressure and coercion);
  • an attempted sexual act that was committed against someone who was incapable of giving consent.*

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a02(a)

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back to topWhat types of protection from stalking or sexual assault orders are there? How long do they last?

In Kansas, there are two types of protection from stalking or sexual assault orders. 

Ex parte temporary order
When you file your petition in court, the judge can issue an immediate ex parte temporary protection from stalking or sexual assault order if there is "good cause" to do so.  ("Ex parte" means that the order can be issued without prior notice to the abuser and without him/her being present in court.)  This temporary order will last until your full court hearing for the final order, which is usually within 21 days.  At the hearing, both you and the abuser will have an opportunity to testify and present evidence.*

Final order
After a hearing in which you both have an opportunity to tell your side of the story through your testimony, evidence, and witnesses, a judge can grant you a final protection from stalking or sexual assault order.  A final order expires on the date set by the judge and can last for a period of up to 1 year, but can be extended under certain circumstances.**  See How can I change or extend my protection from stalking order? for more information. 

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05(a),(b)
** Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(b),(c),(d)

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back to topHow can a protection from stalking or sexual assault order help me?

A protection from stalking or sexual assault order can offer the following protections for you and your family.  It can:

  • order the abuser not to follow, harass, telephone, or make contact with you in any way;
  • order the abuser not to violate your privacy rights;
  • order the abuser not to enter your home or the area immediately around your home; 
  • order the abuser not to commit or attempt to commit sexual assault upon you; and
  • order any other protections the judge considers necessary.*

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(a)

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Who can get an order

back to topWho can get a protection from stalking or sexual assault order?

A victim of stalking or sexual assault can file a petition for a protection from stalking or sexual assault with any district judge or clerk of the court.*  

If the victim is a minor (a person under the age of 18), his/her parent or an adult living with the minor has the option of filing the petition on the minor's behalf with the district judge or with the clerk of the court in the county where the stalking or sexual assault occurred.**

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a)
** Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(b)

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back to topCan I get a protection from stalking or sexual assault order if I am a minor?

Yes.  The law says that a "person" who is a victim may file, without specifying an age.  However, the law also allows for the parent or another adult who lives with the minor to file a petition on the minor's behalf.*

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a),(b)

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back to topHow much does it cost?

You do not have to pay anything to file for a protection from stalking or sexual assault order.*  If you are granted a final order, the judge may require the defendant to pay the court fees, and may also require that s/he pay your attorney fees.  However, if the judge decides that your stalking or sexual assault claim is not valid, s/he may require you to pay the defendant's attorney fees.**

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(d)
** Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(f)

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back to topDo I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection from stalking or sexual assault order but it is generally better to have one if you can, especially if the abuser has an attorney.  In many places, local domestic violence or sexual assault programs can help you file for an order.  The clerk of the court should be able to provide you with the forms you need to file a petition.*

Please keep in mind that courthouse officials and domestic violence advocates who are not lawyers cannot give you legal advice or represent you in court.  You will find a list of legal organizations that might be able to help you at the KS Finding a Lawyer page.  You can also find contact information for the courthouse in your area at the KS Courthouse Locations page.  You can download the petition on our KS Download Court Forms page or you can get them at the courthouse.

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(c)

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Steps for getting a protection from stalking or sexual assault order

back to topStep 1: Get the petition.

A petition for a protection from stalking or sexual assault order can be filed with any district judge or clerk of the court unless the petition is being filed by an adult on behalf of the minor -- in that case, it has to be filed in the county where the stalking or sexual assault occurred.*  To find a list of courthouses in Kansas, see our KS Courthouse Locations page.  At the courthouse, the clerk of the court will be able to give you the forms you need to file for a PFS order.**  You can also find the forms online at the Kansas courts website.  Go to our KS Download Court Forms page for the link.

Remember to bring some form of identification (a driver's license or picture I.D.) with you to the courthouse.  You may also want to call the courthouse in advance (if you can) to see if there are certain times that petitions are presented to the judge.

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a),(b)
** Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(c)

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back to topStep 2: Fill out the forms.

When you fill out the necessary forms to get a protection from stalking or sexual assault order, you will be known as the plaintiff and the abuser will be the defendant.  You will need to include in the petition:

  • your name;
  • the name of the abuser (defendant);
  • the dates on which the stalking behavior or sexual assault took place; and
  • the specific acts committed.*

Read the petition carefully and ask questions to the courthouse staff if you don’t understand something.  Do not sign the forms until you have shown them to a court clerk since you may need to sign them in front of a notary or a clerk at the courthouse.

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a)

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back to topStep 3: A judge will review your petition and may grant you an ex parte temporary order.

Your petition will be given to the judge.  If the judge believes there is "good cause" to do so, s/he can grant you an immediate ex parte temporary order.  This order will stay in effect until the full hearing (within 21 days of filing the petition) at which time you can be granted a final order.*  Copies of the temporary order and the petition you filed will be given to you.  Remember to keep a copy of the temporary order with you at all times.

The defendant will have to be formally served with the petition, the ex parte order and the notice of the hearing.  The clerk of court should be able to tell you how the defendant will have to be served and who can serve him/her.

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05

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back to topStep 4: The hearing

Whether or not a judge grants you a temporary order, a court date will usually be set for a hearing on your petition within 21 days of filing.*  This hearing will be in front of a judge, who will decide whether or not to give you a final order.  It is very important that you attend the court hearing.  If you do not go to the hearing, your temporary order (if you have one) will expire.

If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may enter a "default" order, granting you what you requested in your petition. The judge may also decide to postpone the date of the hearing in order to be able to hear testimony from the abuser.  If the judge postpones the hearing (a continuance), then be sure to have your temporary order extended until that time.

You may wish to hire a lawyer to help with your case, especially if the abuser has a lawyer.  If the abuser shows up with a lawyer, you can ask the judge for a "continuance" (a later court date) so that you have time to find a lawyer.  Go to KS Where to Find Help to find help in your area.

You can also read through the Preparing your Case section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused - this may be especially helpful if you are representing yourself.

* Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05(a)

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After the hearing

back to topWhat should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Here are some steps that you may want to take before, and after, leaving the courthouse:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If you have any questions about it, be sure to ask the clerk or, if possible, the judge.
  • Make several copies of the order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • Leave copies of the order at your workplace, at your home, at your children's school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.

The court will keep your address and telephone number confidential and will only disclose them to authorized court or law enforcement officers.*  However, you may still wish to consider changing your locks, if permitted by law or by your lease, and your phone number if you feel that would make you safer.  You should also think about developing a “safety plan” for you and your family.  A local domestic violence organization may be able to help you design a safety plan that's right for you.  See our KS State and Local Programs page for a list of resources in your area, and our Staying Safe page for more tips on how to protect yourself.

* K.S.A. § 60-31a04(e)

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back to topWhat happens if the defendant violates the order?

If the defendant violates any part of the order, you can call the police and report the violation.  S/he can be held in contempt* by the judge and, depending on what s/he did to violate the order, s/he may also be charged with a crime.  Violating a protection from stalking or sexual assault order can be a class A person misdemeanor.  Violation of an extended protection from stalking or sexual assault order, which was extended for at least 2 years due to the defendant violating the first order or due to him/her being convicted of certain crimes against you, can be a level 6, person felony.**

* K.S.A. § 60-31a09
** K.S.A. § 21-5924(b)

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back to topHow can I change or extend my protection from stalking or sexual assault order?

Extending an order
A final order will expire on the date set by the judge and can last for a period of up to one year, but can be extended under certain circumstances.  To extend it, you must apply for the extension before the expiration of your order.  If you request it, a judge may extend your order by granting a renewal for 1 additional year.*  An order can be extended for at least 2 years and at most, for the lifetime of the defendant if you can prove:

  1. the defendant violated a valid protection order (either the current order or a prior order); or 
  2. the defendant has been convicted of a "person felony" or any conspiracy, criminal solicitation or attempt of a "person felony" against you or any member of your household.**

Changing an order
An order can be changed by a judge at any time upon a motion (a formal request filed in court) by either you or the defendant.***

* K.S.A. § 60-31a06(b),(c)
** K.S.A. § 60-31a06(d)
*** K.S.A. § 60-31a06(e)

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