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Legal Statutes: Alabama

UPDATED July 28, 2016

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Chapter 5. Protection from Abuse.

back to topSection 30-5-2. Definitions.

In this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) ABUSE. An act of domestic violence committed against a victim, which is any of the following:

a. Arson. Arson as defined under Sections 13A-7-40 to 13A-7-43, inclusive.

b. Assault. Assault as defined under Sections 13A-6-20 to 13A-6-22, inclusive.

c. Attempt. With the intent to commit any crime under this section or any other criminal act under the laws of this state, performing any overt act towards the commission of the offense.

d. Child Abuse. Torture or willful abuse of a child, aggravated child abuse, or chemical endangerment of a child as provided in Chapter 15, commencing with Section 26-15-1, of Title 26, known as the Alabama Child Abuse Act.

e. Criminal Coercion. Criminal coercion as defined under Section 13A-6-25.

f. Criminal Trespass. Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the premises of another after having been warned not to do so either orally or in writing by the owner of the premises or other authorized person as defined under Sections 13A-7-2 to 13A-7-4.1, inclusive.

g. Harassment. Harassment as defined under Section 13A-11-8.

h. Kidnapping. Kidnapping as defined under Sections 13A-6-43 and 13A-6-44.

i. Menacing. Menacing as defined under Section 13A-6-23.

j. Other Conduct. Any other conduct directed toward a plaintiff covered by this chapter that could be punished as a criminal act under the laws of this state.

k. Reckless Endangerment. Reckless endangerment as defined under Section 13A-6-24.

l. Sexual Abuse. Any sexual offenses included in Article 4, commencing with Section 13A-6-60, of Chapter 6 of Title 13A.

m. Stalking. Stalking as defined under Sections 13A-6-90 to 13A-6-94, inclusive.

n. Theft. Knowingly obtaining or exerting unauthorized control or obtaining control by deception over property owned by or jointly owned by the plaintiff and another. Theft includes theft as defined under Sections 13A-8-1 to 13A-8-5, inclusive.

o. Unlawful Imprisonment. Unlawful imprisonment as defined under Sections 13A-6-41 and 13A-6-42.

(2) COURT. A circuit court judge, a district court judge, or a special circuit court judge appointed pursuant to Section 12-1-14 or12-1-14.1. A district court judge may be designated by a written standing order from the presiding circuit court judge to handle protection from abuse cases.

(3) DATING RELATIONSHIP.

a. A significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement over a period of time and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship.

b. A dating relationship includes the period of engagement to be married.

c. A dating relationship does not include a casual or business relationship or a relationship that ended more than 12 months prior to the filing of the petition for a protection order.

(4) PLAINTIFF. An individual who has standing to file a petition under Section 30-5-5.

(5) PROTECTION ORDER. Any order of protection from abuse issued under this chapter for the purpose of preventing acts of abuse as defined in this chapter.

(6) THREAT. Any word or action, expressed or implied, made to cause the plaintiff to fear for his or her safety or for the safety of another person.

(7) VICTIM. An individual who is related to the person who commits an act of abuse in any of the following ways:

a. Is related by marriage to the defendant, including a common law marriage.

b. Had a former marriage or common law marriage with the defendant.

c. Has a child in common with the defendant regardless of whether the victim and defendant have ever been married and regardless of whether they are currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same household.

d. Has or had a dating relationship with the defendant.

e. Is a current or former household member. A household member is a person maintaining or having maintained a living arrangement with the defendant where he or she is in, or was engaged in, a romantic or sexual relationship.

f. A relative of a current or former household member as defined in paragraph e. who also lived with the defendant.

g. An individual who is a parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild and who is in or has maintained a living arrangement with the defendant.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-476, p. 826, § 2; Acts 1995, No. 95-542, p. 1126, § 1; Act 2010-538, p. 919, § 1; Act 2015-493, § 2.)