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Know the Laws: Wyoming

UPDATED December 23, 2016

Enforcing Your Out-Of-State Order in Wyoming

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

General rules for out-of-state orders in Wyoming

back to topCan I get my order of protection enforced in Wyoming? What are the requirements?

Yes. Your order of protection can be enforced in Wyoming 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 order of protection changed, extended, or canceled in WY?

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

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.  Find out if this is possible in your state by calling the court that issued your order. 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 Wyoming, you may be able to get a new one issued in Wyoming but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Wyoming. To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Wyoming, visit our WY Domestic Violence Orders of Protection page. 

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

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Wyoming 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 WY 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 order in Wyoming

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.

Before moving to Wyoming, the state that issued your Order of Protection may already have entered your order into the NCIC.  If not, your order may be entered into the NCIC once your order is registered in WY.

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 order of protection in Wyoming?

To register your order of protection in Wyoming, you must present a certified copy of your order to a clerk in the circuit or district court in the district where you think enforcement may be necessary.*  The clerk will give you a receipt and will forward your order to the local sheriff’s department or chief of police for entry into the state registry. **

There is no fee for registering your order,*** but it is always a good idea to bring along your photo ID and any documents that the court gave you along with your original order.

If you need help registering your order of protection, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Wyoming for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our WY State and Local Programs page.

* WY ST § 35-21-111 (a)
** WY ST § 35-21-111 (c), (d)
*** WY ST § 35-21-111 (b)

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

No.  Wyoming state law gives full protection to an out-of-state order of protection as long the officer believes that your order is valid (real).*  It does not have to be entered into the state or federal registry in order to be enforced by a Wyoming police officer.**

* WY ST § 35-21-109
** WY ST § 35-21-111 (e)

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

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 WY State and Local Programs page.

* 18 USC § 2265(d)

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

Maybe.  While neither federal law nor state law requires that you register your order of protection in order to get it enforced, if your order is not entered into the state registry, it may be more difficult for a Wyoming law enforcement official to determine whether your order is real. Meaning, it could take longer to get your order enforced.

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 Wyoming.  To see a list of local domestic violence organizations in Wyoming, go to our WY State and Local Programs page.

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

No.  There is no fee for registering your order of protection in Wyoming.*

* WY ST § 35-21-111 (b)

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