403.725 Petition for order of protection; venue; verified contents; concurrent jurisdiction; protocols for access and supplemental jurisdiction; referral
(1) A petition for an order of protection may be filed by:
(a) A victim of domestic violence and abuse; or
(b) An adult on behalf of a victim who is a minor otherwise qualifying for relief under this subsection.
(2) The petition may be filed in the victim's county of residence or a county where the victim has fled to escape domestic violence and abuse.
(3) The petition shall be verified and contain:
(a) The name, age, address, occupation, residence, and school or postsecondary institution of the petitioner;
(b) The name, age, address, occupation, residence, and school or postsecondary institution of the person or persons who have engaged in the alleged act or acts complained of in the petition;
(c) The facts and circumstances which constitute the basis for the petition;
(d) The date and place of the marriage of the parties, if applicable; and
(e) The names, ages, and addresses of the petitioner's minor children, if applicable.
(4) The petition shall be filed on forms prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Courts and provided to the person seeking relief by the circuit clerk or by another individual authorized by the court to provide and verify petitions in emergency situations, such as law enforcement officers and Commonwealth's or county attorneys.
(5) All petitions requested, completed, and signed by persons seeking protection under this chapter shall be accepted and filed with the court.
(6) (a) Jurisdiction over petitions filed under this chapter shall be concurrent between the District Court and Circuit Court and a petition may be filed by a petitioner in either court, except that a petition shall be filed in a family court if one has been established in the county where the petition is filed.
(b) The Court of Justice shall provide a protocol for twenty-four (24) hour access to orders of protection in each county with any protocol, whether statewide or local, being subject to Supreme Court review and approval of the initial protocol and any subsequent amendments. This protocol may allow for petitions to be filed in or transferred to a court other than those specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(c) The Court of Justice may authorize by rule that petitions in a specific county be filed in accordance with a supplemental jurisdictional protocol adopted for that county. This protocol may provide for petitions to be filed in or transferred to a court other than those specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(7) Any judge to whom a petition is referred under subsection (6) of this section shall have full authority to review and hear a petition and subsequently grant and enforce an order of protection.
(8) If the judge of a court in which there is a pending request for modification or enforcement of an existing order of protection is unavailable or unable to act within a reasonable time, the proceedings may be conducted by any judge of the county in accordance with court rules.