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Know the Laws: North Dakota

UPDATED December 17, 2015

Enforcing your Out-of-State Order in North Dakota

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

Registering your out-of-state DVPO in ND

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 that contains protective order information 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.

 

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back to topHow do I register my protection order in North Dakota?

To register your protection order in ND, you need to bring a certified copy of the order to any court clerk along with a sworn statement saying that the order is valid.  The clerk will give you a certified copy to show that your order has been registered and will send the order to the local law enforcement agency.*

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in North Dakota for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our ND Where to Find Help page.

 

 * ND Statutes §14-07.4-04

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back to topDo I have to register my protection order in ND in order to get it enforced?

No. ND state law gives full protection to an out-of-state protection order 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 a ND police officer, but the officer does need to believe that it is a valid (real) order.**

 

 * ND Statutes §§14-07.4-02; 14-07.4-03(1)

 ** ND Statutes §14-07.4-03(4)

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back to topWill the abuser be notified if I register my protection 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 ND State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

 

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back to topWhat if I don't register my protection order? Will it be more difficult to have it enforced?

Since neither federal law nor state law requires you to register your protection order in order to get it enforced, it should not be more difficult to have your order enforced even if you don’t register it in North Dakota.*   Also, ND state law says that a police officer must enforce an out-of-state protection order as long as you can present a copy of the order.**

If you are unsure about whether registering your order is the right decision for you, you may want to contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. An advocate there can help you decide what the safest plan of action is for you in North Dakota. To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in ND, go to our ND Where to Find Help page.

 * ND Statutes §14-07.4-03(4)
 ** ND Statutes §14-07.4-03(1)

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back to topDoes it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in North Dakota.*

* ND Statutes §14-07.4-04(6)

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