Know the Laws: Utah
UPDATED February 12, 2015
A protective order is a civil order that provides protection from a current or former dating partner, a member of your household, or someone you have a child in common with.
This section defines abuse for the purposes of getting a protective order.
Abuse, for the purposes of filing for a protective order in Utah, occurs when someone:
A protective order is a civil court order designed to keep your abuser from hurting you anymore.
There are two types of protective orders. The first is called an ex parte protective order, which is designed to give you immediate protection. The second type is referred to simply as a protective order. We refer to it as a full protective order below so that it is easier to see the difference.
An ex parte protective order is designed to temporarily protect you from the abuser until you can have a court hearing for a full protective order. Ex parte means that your abuser is not present when your petition is presented to the judge, and does not have to know that the order has been requested.
A judge will grant you an ex parte order if s/he believes that you are in danger of immediate harm. If the judge grants an ex parte protective order, s/he will set a date for a hearing within 20 days after the order is issued.* If the judge does not grant you an ex parte order you can still request to have a hearing for a protective order.**
Even though your abuser may not be present when you petition for an ex parte protective order, the court may give the following temporary orders:
A full protective order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. The only requirement is that your abuser has notice of the hearing. If s/he decides not to attend, a full protective order can still be granted by the judge. The full protective order lasts longer and can offer more relief than an ex parte order. Exactly how long the full order will last will be determined by the judge who hears your case.****
In addition to the protections listed above under the ex parte order, a full protective order can also specify arrangements for parent-child time between abuser (respondent) and a minor child. In some cases the court will deny parenting time to the abuser to protect the safety of the child, or require supervision during visitation.** See How can a full protective order help me? for a complete list of the relief offered by a full protective order.
If you do not qualify for a domestic violence protective order, you may be able to get a stalking injunction. You can read more about what this is here: What is a stalking injunction?
* U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-7-107(1)(a)
** U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-7-107(3)
*** U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-7-106(2)
**** U.C.A. 1953 § 78B-7-106(6)
A full protective order can:
You can file a petition in the county where you live, in the county where the abuser lives, or in the county where the abuse took place.*
* U.C.A. § 78B-7-104(2)