Información Legal: Iowa

Restraining Orders

Ver Todo
Actualizada: 
3 de noviembre de 2023

What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Iowa?

This section defines domestic abuse for the purposes of getting a protective order. Domestic abuse is when someone who you have a specific relationship with commits assault against you,1 which is defined as:

  • any act that is intended to cause you pain or injury;
  • any act that is intended to result in physical contact, which will be insulting or offensive to you;;
  • any act that is intended to place you in fear of immediate physical contact, which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive; 
  • intentionally pointing any firearm toward you or displaying any dangerous weapon towards you in a threatening manner; or
  • intentionally pointing a laser showing a visible light beam at you with the intent to cause you pain or injury.2

1 IA ST § 236.2(2)
2 IA ST § 708.1(2)

What types of protective orders are available? How long do they last?

In Iowa, there are three types of domestic violence protective orders.

An emergency order is issued only if the courts are closed (at night or on a weekend) and lasts for 72 hours, which should be enough time to file for a temporary and/or permanent order.1

You can get an emergency order by calling the domestic abuse program nearest you - see our IA Places that Help page, or by calling the Iowa Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-(800)-942-0333. 

Temporary orders are similar to emergency orders except that they last a little bit longer.  Usually you apply for a temporary order at the same time as you apply for a permanent order.  The temporary order will last until you can have a full court hearing on your application for a permanent order, which is usually within 5 to 15 days.2

A permanent order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. It lasts up to one year and may be extended after that.  For more information, see How do I change or extend my order?

1 IA ST § 236.6
2 IA ST § 236.4(1)

What protections can I get in a protective order?

A temporary order can contain anything that the judge thinks is necessary to protect you from domestic abuse, including:

  • making temporary custody or visitation orders; 
  • giving you possession of any pets or companion animals that are owned or kept by you, the abuser, or by a minor child of you or the abuser; and
  • prohibiting the abuser from coming near such animal, taking it, harming it, threatening it, etc.1

Temporary orders also must specifically include a notice that the abuser may be required to give up all firearms, offensive weapons, and ammunition if a permanent order is issued.1

In a permanent order, the judge can order the abuser to:

  • stop abusing you;
  • leave the house or apartment where you are living together or provide suitable alternate housing for you;
  • stay away from your home, school or job;
  • not have in his/her possession any firearms, weapons, and ammunition;
  • pay child and spousal support;
  • pay your attorney’s fees and costs; 
  • attend counseling; (Note: The judge can also order you and your children to attend counseling as well);2
  • stay away from any pet or companion animal that belongs to you, the abuser, or a minor child of you or the abuser; and
  • not take, hide, bother, attack, threaten, or otherwise get rid of such pet or companion animal.3

The judge can give you:

  • temporary custody of your children and allow the abuser to have visitation;2 and
  • exclusive care, possession, or control of any pets or companion animals.3 

Note: In a temporary or permanent order, the judge is supposed to keep in mind the safety of you and your children when deciding visitation. If the court finds that the safety of you or your children will be endangered with unsupervised visitation, the judge should restrict visitation, have it supervised, or deny visitation entirely. The judge should also determine whether any other existing orders awarding custody or visitation rights should be modified.2

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

1 IA ST § 236.4(2) - (4)
2 IA ST § 236.5(1), (4)
3 IA ST §§ 236.5(1)(b)(7); 236.4(3)

Where can I file for a protective order?

You can file for a protective order in the district court where you live or where the abuser lives.1

1 IA ST § 236.3

Si el agresor vive en otro estado, ¿puedo conseguir una orden en su contra?

Si el/la agresor/a vive en un estado diferente al suyo, el/la juez/a podría no tener “jurisdicción personal” (poder) sobre ese/a agresor/a. Esto significa que es posible que el tribunal no pueda otorgar una orden en contra de él/ella.

Hay algunas formas en las que una corte puede tener jurisdicción personal sobre un/a agresor/a que es de otro estado:

  1. El/la agresor/a tiene una conexión sustancial a su estado. Quizás el/la agresor/a viaja regularmente a su estado para visitarlo/a, por negocios, para ver la familia extendida, o el/la agresor/a vivía en su estado y huyó recientemente.
  2. Uno de los actos de maltrato “ocurrió” en su estado. Quizás el/la agresor/a le envía mensajes amenazantes o le hace llamadas acosadoras desde otro estado pero usted lee los mensajes o contesta las llamadas mientras usted está en su estado. El/la juez/a puede decidir que el maltrato “ocurrió” mientras estaba en su estado. También puede ser posible que el/la agresor/a estaba en su estado cuando le maltrató pero desde entonces se fue del estado.
  3. Otra forma para que la corte adquiera jurisdicción es si usted presenta su petición en el estado donde usted está, y el/la agresor/a recibe notificación de la petición de la corte mientras él/ella está en ese estado.

Sin embargo, aunque nada de esto aplique a su situación, eso no necesariamente significa que usted no pueda conseguir una orden. A usted le pueden dar una orden por consentimiento o el/la juez/a puede encontrar otras circunstancias que permitan que la orden sea dada. Puede leer más sobre jurisdicción personal en nuestra sección de Asuntos Básicos del Sistema Judicial - Jurisdicción Personal.

Nota: Si el/la juez/a de su estado se niega a dar una orden, usted puede pedir una orden en la corte del estado donde vive el/la agresor/a. Sin embargo, recuerde que es probable que usted necesite presentar la petición en persona y asistir a varias citas en la corte, lo cual podría ser difícil si el estado de el/la agresor/a es lejos.

WomensLaw sirve y apoya a todas las personas sobrevivientes sin importar su sexo o género.