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Know the Laws: Oklahoma

UPDATED May 25, 2017

Enforcing Your Out-of-State Order in Oklahoma

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

General rules for out-of-state orders in Oklahoma

back to topCan I get my protective order enforced in Oklahoma? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Oklahoma 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.)
  • It identifies you and the abuser.
  • It is currently in effect (meaning it has not expired).
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story. It doesn’t matter if s/he actually showed up in court; just that he had the opportunity to do so.
    • 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 within a "reasonable time" after the order is issued.**
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); 22 O.S. § 60.23(D)(1) & (2)

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

No.  Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Oklahoma.  To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page and select the state where your order was issued from the drop-down menu.

If your order does expire while you are living in Oklahoma, you may be able to get a new one issued in Oklahoma but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Oklahoma.  Also, it is important to know that if you do file for a new order in Oklahoma, the abuser will be notified and will have an opportunity to come to the hearing in Oklahoma to defend himself/herself against the order.*  If you do not want the abuser to find out that you are in Oklahoma, you may not want to file for a new order in Oklahoma.

To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Oklahoma, visit our Domestic Violence Protective Orders page.

* 22 O.S. § 60.4(1)

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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 Oklahoma?

Yes.  As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Oklahoma 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 this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area.  To find a lawyer in your area, click on our Finding a Lawyer page and select the state you are in from the drop-down menu.

* 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 Prevention Act of 1980.

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Registering your out-of-state protection order in Oklahoma

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

Before moving to Oklahoma, the state that issued your protection order may already have entered your order into the NCIC.
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.*

* See the FBI website

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back to topHow do I register my protective order in Oklahoma?

You do not need to register your order in Oklahoma in order for it to be enforced.*  However, if you want to register your protection order, you can give a certified copy of the order (certified by the issuing state) to:

  • the Secretary of State of Oklahoma; or
  • a law enforcement officer and ask him/her to register it with the Secretary of State of Oklahoma.

Once the Secretary of State registers the protection order, you will get a certified copy of the registered order. There is no fee for registering your protection order.**

If you have questions, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Oklahoma for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on the OK State and Local Programs page.

* See O.S. § 60.23 22
** O.S. § 60.25(A),(B),(F)

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back to topDo I have to register my protective order in Oklahoma to get it enforced?

No. Oklahoma state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order (even if it has provisions that would not be allowed on an Oklahoma protective order).  It can be enforced by a law enforcement officer as long as you can show the officer a copy of the order and can truthfully tell the officer that you believe the order is still in effect.  The order does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by an Oklahoma police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.*  It can also be enforced by a court in Oklahoma if you file a court action for enforcement.**

* 22 O.S. §§ 60.9(D), 60.12(A)
** 22 O.S. § 60.23

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back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protective order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.*  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Staying Safe page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our OK State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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