Step 2: A judge will review your petition.
Once you file your petition, the clerk will forward it to a judge. The judge may wish to ask you questions as s/he reviews your petition. Based on what you wrote in your petition, the judge will decide whether or not to issue you an ex parte order. A judge can grant you an ex parte order if you prove there is “good cause” to do so. “Good cause” can be when the judge believes there is an immediate and present danger of abuse to you.1
Whether or not you get an ex parte order, you will likely receive a “notice of hearing,” which will state the date and time when you must go back to court for your full order of protection hearing. This hearing usually takes place within 15 days.2
Note: Remember that even if you do not receive an ex parte order, you may still receive a full order of protection at the hearing. You MUST go to the hearing, as stated on your notice of hearing, in order to get the full order of protection. If you do not attend the hearing, your case may be dismissed. It may be best to have a lawyer for the hearing, especially if you think the abuser may have one. Go to our MO Finding a Lawyer page for free and paid legal referrals.
1 MO ST § 455.035(1)
2 See MO ST § 455.040(1)