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Know the Laws: Georgia

UPDATED December 9, 2013

Enforcing Your Out-of-State Order in GA

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If you are planning to move to GA or are going to be in GA for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in GA

back to topCan I get my out-of-state protective order enforced in Georgia? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your protective order from another state can be enforced in Georgia as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.*
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.**
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

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back to topWhat is the National Crime Information Center Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

All law enforcement officials have access to it, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.*

* An explanation of NCIC is given on the Federation of American Scientists website

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state protective order changed, extended, or canceled in GA?

No.  Only the state that issued your protective order can change, extend, or cancel the order.  You cannot have this done by a court in Georgia.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition, notify your abuser, and attend a hearing in the court where the order was issued.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Order page for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Georgia, you may be able to get a new one issued in Georgia. but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Georgia.  To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Georgia, visit our  Family Violence Protection Orders page.

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back to topWhat can I do if the court that issued my order tells GA that my order has changed or is no longer valid?

You will have to contact the court that issued your order to find out why your order has changed or is no longer valid.  The police in Georgia cannot enforce an order that has expired or has been canceled in the issuing state.

If this does happen, you may want to contact a lawyer or domestic violence organization in your area.  They may be able to answer some of your questions, or help you fill out the necessary court forms to petition for a new order in GA.  You will find information on legal assistance and domestic violence organizations in GA on the Where to Find Help page.

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my protective order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in GA?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Georgia can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here GA Finding a Lawyer.

* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping

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