How do I get my protective order enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your protective order enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid protective order is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need anything special to get my protective order enforced in another state?
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your protective order. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. In Mississippi, a certified order is called an “attested” order, and it has a stamp with the date it was filed along with the clerk’s signature.
If the copy you originally received was not a certified copy, you can go to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk’s office for a certified copy.
Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move to leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. You can give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a picture of the abuser and you can give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your protective order enforced in another state. However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the menu on the Places that Help tab located on the top of this page.
Do I need to tell the court in Mississippi if I move?
You are not required to tell the court in Mississippi if you move, but it might be a good idea to give the court a current address so that you can be notified of any actions that are taken regarding your protective order. If you provide your new address to the court, you can also ask them to keep it confidential. If you show the court that revealing your address would put you at risk, then the court will keep it confidential.1
1 MS Code § 93-21-9(7)