En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Legal Statutes: Alabama

UPDATED July 28, 2016

Back to Alabama overview

Chapter 5. Protection from Abuse.

back to topSection 30-5-7. Orders for protection or modification - Authorized, issuance, relief, time, amendment, etc.

(a) If it appears from a petition for a protection order or a petition to modify a protection order that abuse has occurred or from a petition for a modification of a protection order that a modification is warranted, the court may do any of the following:

(1) Without notice or hearing, immediately issue an ex parte protection order or modify an ex parte protection order as it deems necessary.

(2) After providing notice as required by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, issue a final protection order or modify a protection order after a hearing whether or not the defendant appears.

(b) A court may grant any of the following relief without notice and a hearing in an ex parte protection order or an ex parte modification of a protection order:

(1) Enjoin the defendant from threatening to commit or committing acts of abuse, as defined in this chapter, against the plaintiff or children of the plaintiff, and any other person designated by the court.

(2)a. Restrain and enjoin the defendant from harassing, stalking, annoying, threatening, or engaging in conduct that would place the plaintiff, minors, children of the plaintiff, or any other person designated by the court in reasonable fear of bodily injury or from contacting the plaintiff or children of the plaintiff.

b. For the purposes of this subdivision, contacting includes, but is not limited to, communicating with the victim verbally or in any written form, either in person, telephonically, electronically, or in any other manner, either directly or indirectly through a third person.

(3) Restrain and enjoin the defendant from having physical or violent contact with the plaintiff or the plaintiff's property, or from going within a minimum of 300 feet of the plaintiff's residence, even if the residence is shared with the defendant, school, or place of employment of the plaintiff, any children, or any other person designated by the court, or order the defendant to stay away from any specified place frequented by the plaintiff, any children, or any person designated by the court where the court determines the defendant has no legitimate reason to frequent.

(4) Award temporary custody of any children of the parties.

(5) Enjoin the defendant from interfering with the plaintiff's efforts to remove any children of the plaintiff or from removing any children from the jurisdiction of the court, and direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the plaintiff during the effort to remove any children of the plaintiff as necessary to protect the plaintiff or any children from abuse or child abuse.

(6) Enjoin the defendant from removing any children from the individual having legal custody of the children, except as subsequently authorized by a custody or visitation order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(7) Remove and exclude the defendant from the residence of the plaintiff, regardless of ownership of the residence.

(8) Order possession and use of an automobile and other essential personal effects, regardless of ownership, and direct the appropriate law enforcement officer to accompany the plaintiff to the residence of the parties or to other specified locations as necessary to protect the plaintiff or any children from abuse.

(9) Order other relief as it deems necessary to provide for the safety and welfare of the plaintiff or any children and any person designated by the court.

(10) Prohibit the defendant from transferring, concealing, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of specified property mutually owned or leased by the parties.

(c) The court may grant any of the following relief in a final protection order or a modification of a protection order after notice and a hearing, whether or not the defendant appears:

(1) Grant the relief available in subsection (b).

(2) Specify arrangements for visitation of any children by the defendant on a basis that gives primary consideration to the safety of the plaintiff or any children, or both, and require supervision by a third party or deny visitation if necessary to protect the safety of the plaintiff or any children, or both.

(3) Order the defendant to pay attorney's fees and court costs.

(4) When the defendant has a duty to support the plaintiff or any children living in the residence or household and the defendant is the sole owner or lessee, grant to the plaintiff possession of the residence or household to the exclusion of the defendant by evicting the defendant or restoring possession to the plaintiff, or both, or by consent agreement allowing the defendant to provide suitable alternate housing.

(5) Order the defendant to pay temporary reasonable support for the plaintiff or any children in the plaintiff's custody, or both, when the defendant has a legal obligation to support such persons. The amount of temporary support awarded shall be in accordance with Child Support Guidelines found in Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration.

(6) Order the defendant to provide temporary possession of a vehicle to the plaintiff, if the plaintiff has no other means of transportation of his or her own and the defendant either has control of more than one vehicle or has alternate means of transportation.

(d)(1) Any temporary ex parte order issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain in effect as provided in Section 30-5-6. While the final protection order is in effect, the court may amend its order at any time upon subsequent petition being filed by either party and a hearing held pursuant to this chapter.

(2) Any final protection order is of permanent duration unless otherwise specified or modified by a subsequent court order.

(e) No order or agreement under this chapter shall in any manner affect title to any real property, except final subsequent proceedings available by law.

(f) A temporary or final judgment on a protective order entered pursuant to this section shall indicate all of the following:

(1) That the injunction is valid and enforceable in all counties in the state.

(2) That law enforcement officers may use their arrest powers pursuant to Section 15-10-3 to enforce the terms of the injunction.

(3) That the court had jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the laws of the state and that reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard was given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-476, p. 826, § 7; Acts 1995, No. 95-542, p. 1126, § 1; Act 2010-538, p. 919, § 1; Act 2015-493, § 2.)