How much does it cost? Do I need a lawyer?
There are no filing fees or court costs to you (the plaintiff) when applying for an order for protection. It will not cost you anything to have your papers served upon the abuser either.1 You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
When an order for protection is entered by the court, the court may direct the defendant (the abuser) to pay any filing fees and reasonable costs of service of process if the court determines the defendant has the ability to pay the plaintiff’s fees and costs.1
You do not need a lawyer to get a protective order, but it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney, especially if your the is represented by one. Go to our IA Finding a Lawyer page for a list of legal organizations in your area. If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.
1 IA ST § 236.3