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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.

General rules for out-of-state orders in North Dakota

back to topCan I get my protection order enforced in North Dakota? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in North Dakota 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 topCan I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in ND?

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 North Dakota.

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 "How to Get a Restraining Order" page for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in North Dakota, you may be able to get a new one issued in North Dakota but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in North Dakota. To find out more information on how to get a protective order in North Dakota, visit our What are the steps for obtaining a DV protection order? page.

 

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back to topI was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in ND?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* North Dakota 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 ND 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 Prevention Act of 1980.

 

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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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