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Legal Information: Alaska

Alaska Restraining Orders

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Restraining Orders

A protective order is a legal order issued by a state court which requires one person to stop harming another. In Alaska, there are several types of orders explained below.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

A domestic violence protective order is a civil order that protects you from abuse by a "household member," including relatives and dating partners.

Basic information and definitions

What is the legal definition of domestic violence?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protective order. According to Alaska law, domestic violence is when a "household member" commits or attempts to commit one or more of the following crimes against you or against another household member (but s/he doesn't have to be arrested):

  1. a "crime against the person," which includes the crimes listed in chapter 11.41 of the law (or similar crimes in other states);
  2. burglary (1st degree and 2nd degree);
  3. criminal trespass (1st degree and 2nd degree);
  4. arson (1st degree, 2nddegree, and 3rd degree);
  5. criminally negligent burning (1st degree and 2nd degree);
  6. criminal mischief (1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, 4th degree, and 5th degree);
  7. terroristic threatening (1st degree and 2nd degree);
  8. harassment (2nd degree - but only sections (a)(2),(3),(4));
  9. violating a protective order - (but only section (a)(1)); and
  10. cruelty to animals if the animal is a pet (but only section (a)(5)).1

Note: A "household member" does not have to live with you.

In your petition for a protective order, and when you speak to the judge, you should describe what the abuser did to make you need the court's protection. You are not responsible for knowing exactly what criminal law the abuser violated.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.990(3)

What types of domestic violence protective orders are there? How long do they last?

There are three types of domestic violence protective orders:

An emergency order is a temporary, emergency order that a police officer requests from a judge (orally, in writing, in person or by telephone) on behalf of a victim of domestic violence with the victim’s consent. If the judge believes that the petitioner (victim) is in immediate danger of domestic violence based on an allegation that domestic violence recently occurred, the judge is supposed to issue the emergency protective order. It generally lasts for 72 hours.1

An ex parte order is a temporary order that you would request from the judge in court for immediate protection. To get this order, the judge must believe (from reading your petition) that you have been the victim of domestic violence and that an immediate protective order is necessary. It generally lasts for 20 days. If a lot of time has passed between the incident and when you file, the judge cannot deny your request for an ex parte protective order based only on the fact that you didn't file immediately after the incident.2

A final order (also called a “long-term” order), is issued by the judge following a hearing in court. At the hearing, the judge will review your petition (request) for a protective order as well as any evidence or witnesses you bring to court with you. If you are granted a final order, the order will last for one year although the term that "prohibits the respondent from threatening to commit or committing domestic violence, stalking, or harassment" can last until "further order of the court."3

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.110(b)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.66.110(a),(d)
3 Alaska Statute § 18.66.100(b)

What protections can I get in a domestic violence protective order?

A final (long-term) domestic violence protective order can:

  1. Order the abuser not to commit or threaten to commit domestic violence, stalking, or harassment; (Note: This protection can remain in effect longer than 1 year - until "further order of the court");
  2. Order the abuser not to call, contact, or communicate with you in any way, directly or indirectly;
  3. Give you the sole possession and use of your house, vehicle, pet, and other personal items, even if the abuser’s name is on the rental agreement or s/he has some type of ownership interest in the residence, vehicle or pet;
  4. Exclude (remove) the abuser from your shared home, regardless of ownership of the home, and/or order the abuser to stay away from your house, school or work or any other specified place;
  5. Order the abuser not to get into a vehicle that you possess or that you are in;
  6. Request that a peace officer go with you to your house to make sure that you get possession of your house, vehicle or personal items;
  7. Prohibit the abuser from taking controlled substances (drugs);
  8. Anything else the court determines is needed to protect you or your household members from further violence;
  9. Award you temporary custody of your children and arrange for visitation if you and the child would be safe;
  10. Require the abuser to pay child support, spousal support, and support for the care of a pet in your possession;
  11. Order the abuser not to have or use a deadly weapon or firearm and to surrender his/her firearms if the court finds that the abuser had or used a weapon during the domestic violence;
  12. Order the abuser to go to alcohol or drug treatment and/or a batterers intervention program at his/her expense;
  13. Require the abuser to pay you back for medical expenses, counseling, shelter stay, and repair or replacement of damaged property; and/or
  14. Require the abuser to pay for costs and fees in obtaining the protective order.1

A temporary (20-day) domestic violence protective order can:

  • Order only the protections listed in numbers 1 through 10 above.2

An emergency (72-hour) domestic violence protective order can:

  • Order only the protections listed in numbers 1 through 8 above.3

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the specific facts of your case. It is important to let the judge know if you need additional protections that are not listed on the standard protective order form.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.100(c),(b)(1)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.66.110(a)
3 Alaska Statute § 18.66.110(b)

Getting a domestic violence protective order

Who can file for a domestic violence protective order?

1. A victim of domestic violence
Any person who is a victim of domestic violence by a "household member" can file for a protective order.  Household members include adults or minors who:

  • Are current or former spouses;
  • Live together or who have lived together;
  • Are dating or who have dated;
  • Have or once had a sexual relationship;
  • Are related to each other by blood (including half-blood) or adoption, such as child, parent, grandchild, brother, sister, grandparent, uncle, first cousin, or other relative;
  • Are related by a current or former marriage (including step-parents and step-children);
  • Have a child in common from a relationship whether or not they have been married or have lived together; or
  • Are the minor child of a person in a relationship described above.1

A judge cannot deny you a protective order based only on the fact that there has been a lapse of time between the domestic violence and the filing of the petition.2

Note: If you do not have a household member relationship with the abuser, you may be eligible for a sexual assault or stalking protective order.  For more information about these orders, see What is a stalking or sexual assault protective order?

2. A peace officer
With the consent of a victim of a crime involving domestic violence, a peace officer, may request an emergency protective order from a judicial officer in person or by telephone on behalf of the victim.  If the judge believes that the victim is in immediate danger of domestic violence based on an allegation that the abuser recently committed a crime involving domestic violence, the court can issue an emergency protective order, which expires 72 hours after it is issued unless dissolved earlier by the court at the request of the victim.3

For information about representing yourself in a protective order hearing, you can check out the Alaska State Courts website.  You can also find general information about preparing for court on our Preparing Your Case page.

1 Alaska Statute §18.66.990 (5)
2 Alaska Statute §18.66.100(e)
3 Alaska Statute §18.66.110(b)

Can I get a domestic violence protective order against a same-sex partner?

In Alaska, you may apply for a domestic violence protective order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who can file for a domestic violence protective order? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic violence, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Alaska?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

Can minors get domestic violence protective orders?

Parents or guardians can request domestic violence protective orders on behalf of their child, if the child is under 18. The abuser must have committed a crime of domestic violence against the child. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney to represent the minor.1

1 Alaska Statute §18.66.100(a)

How much does it cost to get and serve a protective order? Do I need a lawyer?

Nothing.  There is no filing fee to get a protective order.

Although you do not need a lawyer to file for a protective order, you may wish to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer.  Even if the abuser does not have a lawyer, if you can, contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find information on legal assistance on the AK Finding a Lawyer page.  In addition, the domestic violence organizations in your area and/or court staff may be able to answer some of your questions or help you fill out the necessary court forms.  You will find contact information for courthouses on the AK Courthouse Locations page.

Where can I file for a domestic violence protective order?

You can file for a domestic violence protective order in the judicial district where you are living, where the abuser lives, or where the abuse occurred.

1 Alaska Statute § 3(h)

Steps for getting a domestic violence protective order

Step 1: Fill out the petition.

To get a copy of the forms for a protective order, go to your local district court or superior court,1 or your local domestic violence or sexual assault organization may assist you in filling them out.  You also have the option of downloading the forms and instructions from the Alaska Courts website or using their "Petition Wizard," which asks you a series of questions and fills out the forms for you. 

On the petition (and in court), you are called the “petitioner”.  The person you are getting a protective order against is called the “respondent.”  The Alaska courts website provides detailed instructions for filing, which are summarized in this following "steps."  It may be helpful to read through both before starting to fill out the paperwork.  To find the courthouse near you, go to AK Courthouse Locations.

You may request either an ex parte 20-day order for immediate protection or a hearing for a final one-year order, or both.  When you finish filling out the petition, you need to return it to the court clerk at your local courthouse.  Do not sign the petition until you are in front of the court clerk.  Your signature must be notarized because you are making your written statements under oath.  The court clerk will notarize your petition free of charge.2

Note: When you fill out the section entitled “Information About Petitioner,” you need to provide an address where the court can send mail to you.  Do not give the actual address where you are staying if you think it will be dangerous for the abuser to know where you are. Instead, if possible, give the address of a friend or relative who can make sure you get any mail the court sends.2

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.100(a)
2 See the AK Court System Instructions “How to Get a Domestic Violence Protective Order” (pg. 6)

Step 2: A judge will review your petition and may issue an ex parte order.

The court clerk will give your petition to a judge. The judge may want to ask you questions as s/he looks over your petition. The judge will then decide whether to give you an ex parte 20-day order for immediate protection. To get this order, the judge must believe (from reading your petition) that a crime involving domestic violence has occurred and that an immediate protective order is necessary to protect you from domestic violence.1 All of this will happen while the abuser is not present.

Whether or not you get an ex parte 20-day order, the judge will give you a date for a full court hearing, which will probably take place within 10-20 days. The judge or court clerk will give you a notice with the date and time of the hearing written on it.

Note: Even though the petition asks you about what efforts you made (if any) to notify the abuser that you were filing the petition, you do not have to notify the abuser in advance -- and you should not do so if it would put you in any danger.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.110(a)

Step 3: Service of process

The petition, your temporary ex parte order, and the notice of the hearing needs to be served on the abuser. Unless the abuser is served in court, the court staff will ask law enforcement to serve the papers on the abuser and they are required to do so by law.1 Do not serve the papers yourself.

A fee cannot be charged for service (unless there are other papers besides the protective order being served on the respondent).2

1 Alaska Statute §18.66.160(a)
2 Alaska Statute §18.66.160(c)

Step 4: Hearing for a long-term domestic violence protective order

Since your ex parte order only lasts for 20 days, you must attend the full court hearing if you want continued protection.  If the abuser doesn't come to the hearing, the judge may decide to give you the protective order or reschedule the hearing.  If the hearing is rescheduled, be sure to ask to have your ex parte 20-day order extended until the hearing date.  At the hearing, you will have to prove that the abuser has committed an act of domestic violence as defined by the law.1

The judge will examine all of the evidence that is presented including your testimony, relevant documents and any witnesses that either you or the abuser bring to testify.  For information about representing yourself in a protective order hearing, you can check out the Alaska State Courts website.  You can also find general information about preparing for court on our Preparing Your Case page. 

If the judge finds that the abuser has committed a crime involving domestic violence against you, s/he will grant you a final (also called “long-term”) protective order that lasts for 1 year.  It is generally best to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing, especially if you think the abuser has one.  If the abuser shows up with a lawyer and you don’t have one, you may be able to ask the judge for a continuance (to postpone the case) so that you can try to get a lawyer as well.  You can find contact information for lawyers in your area on our AK Finding a Lawyer page.

After the hearing

Can the abuser have a gun?

Once you get a protective order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession.  There are a few places where you can find this information:

  • first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in Alaska have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
  • second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
  • third you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.

You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website

What should I do when I leave the courtroom?

These are some things you may want to consider after you have been granted a protective order.  Depending on what you think is safest in your situation, you may do any or all of the following:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse.  If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk how to correct the order before you leave.
  • Make several copies of the protective order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • You might want to inform your employer, clergy, family members, and/or your closest friends that you have a protective order in effect so that they can be aware of the restrictions on the abuser.
  • 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.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.

Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order.  Many abusers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe.  Click on the following link for suggestions about Safety Tips.  Advocates at local resource centers can help you design a safety plan and can provide other forms of support.  You can find an advocate in your area on the AK Advocates and Shelters page.

I was not granted a protective order. What are my options?

If you are not granted a protective order, there are still some things you can do to stay safe.  It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence organizations in your area to get help, support, and advice on how to stay safe.  They can help you develop a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need.  For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Tips page.  You will find a list of state resources on our AK Advocates and Shelters page.

You may be able to reapply for a protective order if a new incident of domestic violence occurs after you are denied the order.

If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to someone at a domestic violence organization or a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal.  Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer.

What if the abuser violates the order?

If you believe that the abuser has violated the protective order, you can immediately call 911. Also, you can call your attorney if you have one or an advocate or lawyer at a domestic violence organization. You can also let the court know about the violation. The violation of an order can be a misdemeanor crime, which can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.1

According to Alaska law the police are supposed to make an arrest (although there are exceptions) if:

  1. you report the violation within 12 hours after it happened; and
  2. the police have "probable cause" (a reasonable belief/likelihood) to believe the crime occurred.2

In figuring out if there is probable cause, officers may talk to you, the abuser, and any other witnesses, examine the place where the violation happened, and consider other relevant factors.

The violation does not have to occur while an officer is there for the arrest to be made.3 If you report the incident after the first 12 hours, an arrest without a warrant can still be made if there is probable cause to believe that a crime occurred, however it is not mandatory.

Note: Aside from dealing with a violation, if a police officer receives complaints of any incidents of domestic violence from more than one person arising from the same incident, the police are supposed to arrest only the "primary aggressor" (the more violent person), not the victim trying to defend herself.4 The law prohibits a police officer from threatening to arrest everyone who is present at the domestic violence incident.5 A police officer who does not make an arrest after a domestic violence incident, or who arrests more than one person from a single incident, must put in writing the reasons for her/his actions.6

When the police arrive, it is generally a good idea to write down the name of the officer(s) that are there and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case. Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may help you have the order extended or modified (changed) in the future.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.130(b)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(a)(2)
3 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(a)
4 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(b)
5 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(d)
6 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(e)

Can I get my protective order from Alaska enforced in another state?

Can I modify and/or extend my protective order?

Modifications: After the court has granted either the ex parte temporary protective order or long term protective order, if you want to change part of the order, you can file your request with the court.

Only the judge has the power to modify the order.  If you are trying to modify an ex parte temporary protective order, the court will schedule a hearing with three days' notice or less.  If you are trying to modify a long term order, the court will schedule a hearing within 20 days after the date the request is made if the court finds that the request to modify the order has merit(value).1

You and the abuser cannot change the order simply by agreeing outside of the legal process.  Even if both of you agree to change part of the order, you must still go through the legal system for the change to be enforceable.  It is not valid unless it is written in a court order.  Allowing the abuser to ignore one part of the order could encourage violations of other parts.  For more information, see the AK State Court System's website.

Extensions: You cannot extend the entire long term protective order.  You need to fill out a new petition and begin the process again.  To get an additional order, you should describe if a new domestic violence incident occurred during the previous protective order or state the reason that you believe you continue to need the court's protection.2

Most parts of a long term protective orders expire after one year.  However, the part ("provision") that prohibits the respondent from threatening to commit or committing domestic violence is in effect indefinitely (forever), unless a judge rules otherwise.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.120(a)(1) & (2)
2 Adapted from the AK Court System "How to Represent Yourself in Alaska’s Domestic Violence Protective Order Process"

Stalking or Sexual Assault Protective Orders

A civil order that protects victims of stalking or sexual assault committed by someone who is not a family or household member.

Basic info and definitions

What is a stalking or sexual assault protective order?

A stalking or sexual assault protective order is a civil court order that is similar to a protective order for domestic violence, but it is designed to specifically protect you from stalking / harassing behavior or sexual assault. If you and the offender are not members of the same household (also called "household members"), you could file for the stalking or sexual assault protective order explained in this section. If you and the offender are household members, you would instead file for a domestic violence protective order.

What is sexual assault?

For the purpose of getting a sexual assault or stalking protective order, Alaska law defines sexual assault as any of the crimes listed in sections 11.41.410 through 11.41.450 of the AK Code - the crimes in these sections of the law are called "sexual assault," "sexual abuse of a minor" (which includes statutory rape) and "incest."1  You can read the definition for each of them on our AK Statutes page. Some examples of the acts that can be considered sexual assault are:

  • When someone touches or penetrates a person sexually without that person’s consent;
  • When someone attempts to touch or penetrate a person sexually without that person’s consent and causes serious physical injury;
  • When someone touches or penetrates a person sexually who the offender knows is:
    • mentally incapable;
    • incapacitated; or
    • unaware that a sexual act is being committed;
  • When an employee in a state correctional facility or a law enforcement officer engages in sexual penetration / touching with an inmate or someone in police custody; and
  • Sexual penetration / touching between someone who is age 18 or 19 who is in the custody of the Department of Health and Social Services and his/her legal guardian.2

Note: You can find the legal definition of the terms used above, sexual penetration and sexual contact, on our AK Statutes page (scroll down to sections (b)(58) and (b)(59) of the section we link you to, section 11.81.900).

1 Alaska Statute §§ 18.65.870(3);18.66.990(9); 11.41.410 through 11.41.450
2 Alaska Statute §§ 18.66.990(9); 11.41.410 through 11.41.427
3 Alaska Statute §§ 18.66.990(9); 11.41.434 through 11.41.440
4 Alaska Statute §§ 18.66.990(9); 11.41.450

What is stalking?

Under Alaska law, stalking is when someone repeatedly commits acts involving you or a family member that put you in fear of death or physical injury against you or against a family member.1 Some examples of the acts that a stalker could commit are:

  • Following you or appearing within your sight;
  • Approaching or confronting you in a public place or on private property;
  • Showing up at your home or workplace;
  • Coming onto and/or remaining on your property (that you own, lease or are occupying);
  • Sending letters, e-mails or making unwanted telephone calls to you;
  • Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that person;
  • Following or monitoring you with a global positioning device (GPS) or similar technological means; and/or
  • Using, installing, or attempting to use or install a device (including computer software) to watch, record, or photograph events that occur in any residence, vehicle, or workplace used by you, or on a personal telephone or computer that you use.2

Stalking can be either a felony or misdemeanor depending on certain factors. For example, if the stalker had a deadly weapon at any time during the stalking, commits the stalking in violation of a protective order, the victim is under 16 years old, or was convicted or certain crimes, it could be a felony.3

1 Alaska Statute § 11.41.270(a)
2 Alaska Statute § 11.41.270(b)(1),(4)
3 Alaska Statute § 11.41.260(a) and (c)

What types of stalking or sexual assault protective orders are there? How long do they last?

There are three types of stalking or sexual assault protective orders:

An emergency order is a temporary, emergency order that a police officer requests from a judge (orally, in writing, in person or by telephone) on behalf of a victim of sexual assault or stalking with the victim’s consent. If the judge believes that the petitioner (victim) is in immediate danger of stalking or sexual assault based on an allegation either has recently occurred, the judge is supposed to issue the emergency protective order. It generally lasts for 72 hours.1

An ex parte order is a temporary order that you would request from the judge in court for immediate protection. To get this order, the judge must believe (from reading your petition) that you have been the victim of stalking or sexual assault and that an immediate protective order is necessary. It generally lasts for 20 days.2

A final order (also called a “long-term” order), is issued by the judge following a hearing in court. At the hearing, the judge will review your petition (request) for a protective order as well as any evidence or witnesses you bring to court with you. If you are granted a final order, it will generally last for 6 months.3

1 Alaska Statute § 18.65.855(b)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.65.855(a)
3 Alaska Statute § 18.65.850(b)

What protections can I get in a stalking or sexual assault protective order?

A temporary or long-term stalking or sexual assault protective order can order:

  • the offender to stop threatening to commit or committing stalking or sexual assault;
  • the offender to stop calling, contacting, or communicating with you (and your household members included in the order) directly or indirectly through a third party;
  • the offender to stay away from your home, school, workplace, or any other place listed in your order. However, if the offender lives with, goes to school with, or works with you, s/he will have to have been given actual notice of the opportunity to attend the protective order hearing before s/he can be ordered to stay away from your home, school, or workplace; and
  • any other relief that the judge thinks is necessary to protect you or a specific household member.1

1 Alaska Statute §§ 18.65.850(c); 18.65.855(a)

Getting an order

Can I still get an order even if I waited a long time to file after being sexually assaulted?

Yes. The judge cannot deny your petition for a protective order if the only reason is that there has been a lapse of time between the sexual assault and the filing of the petition.1

1 Alaska Statute § 18.65.850(e)

Can minors get stalking or sexual assault protective orders?

A parent or guardian may file a petition for a protective order on behalf of a minor (under age 18) who has been the victim of stalking or sexual assault.1

1 Alaska Statute §18.65.850(a)

How much does it cost to get and serve a protective order? Do I need a lawyer?

Nothing.  There is no filing fee to get any protective order.1  Also, you can have law enforcement serve the order and, as long as there are no other petitions being served with the protective order, there will be no fee for service.2

Although you do not need a lawyer to file for a protective order, you may want to have a lawyer, especially if the abuser has a lawyer.  Even if the abuser does not have a lawyer, you may want to speak to one before taking any legal action to make sure your rights are protected.

You can find contact information for lawyers in your area on the AK Finding a Lawyer page.  If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help with your case, you can find contact information for organizations that provide legal services, some of which may be free or low-cost if you qualify.

1 Alaska Statute §18.65.865(b)
2 Alaska Statute §§ 18.65.865(a); 18.66.160(a),(c)

I'm a victim of stalking or sexual assault. Do I file for a stalking or sexual assault protective order or a domestic violence protective order?

Both stalking or sexual assault protective orders and domestic violence protective orders can protect victims of stalking or sexual assault.  Deciding which type of protective order to file depends on your relationship to the perpetrator.

If you and the perpetrator are not members of the same household (also called “household members”), you need to file for a stalking or sexual assault protective order.1  If you and the perpetrator are household members, you need to file for a domestic violence protective order.2  See Who can file for a domestic violence protective order? for the definition of “household member.”

1 Alaska Statute § 88.65.850(a)
2 Alaska Statute §18.66.100(a)

What are the steps for filing for a stalking or sexual assault protective order?

To request a stalking or sexual assault protective order from a judge, you generally need to file a petition (a written request) in your local district or superior court.1 To get a copy of the forms for a stalking or sexual assault protective order, go to your local district court or superior court, domestic violence or sexual assault support organization, or download the forms from the Alaska courts website. (To find the courthouse near you, go to AK Courthouse Locations). You may request either an ex parte 20-day order for immediate protection or a hearing for a final one-year order, or both.2

The Alaska courts website provides very detailed instructions for filing the petition, which we have summarized in the section Steps for getting a domestic violence protective order. Generally, the steps for filing for a stalking or sexual assault protective order are the same as the steps for getting a domestic violence protective order, so we suggest that you read through that section before starting the process of filing.

1 Alaska Statute §18.65.850(a)
2 See the AK Court System Instructions for Requesting a Protective Order Against Stalking or Sexual Assault

After the hearing

Can I change or end an order from the court?

After the court issues the protective order, you can ask the court to change (modify) or end (dissolve) the order.  The abuser (called the “respondent” in court) can also do this.   You will need to fill out the required paperwork, which is available at the court clerk’s office.1

Only the judge has the power to modify the order.  If you are trying to modify an ex parte protective order, the court will schedule a hearing on three days' notice or on less.  If you are trying to modify a long term order, the court will schedule a hearing within 20 days after the date the request is made if the court finds that the request to modify the order has merit (value).2

You and the abuser cannot change the order simply by agreeing outside of the legal process.  Even if both of you agree to change part of the order, you must still go through the legal system for the change to be enforceable.  It is not valid unless it is written in a court order.  Allowing the abuser to ignore one part of the order could encourage violations of other parts.

Generally, you cannot extend a long term protective order. You will need to fill out a new petition and begin the process again.  To get another order, you should describe any new incidents of sexual assault or stalking that occurred since the previous protective order was granted or state the reason that you believe you continue to need the court's protection.

1 See the AK Court System Instructions for Requesting a Protective Order Against Stalking or Sexual Assault
2 Alaska Statute § 18.65.860(a)

Can I get my protective order from Alaska enforced in another state?

I was not granted a protective order. What are my options?

If you are not granted a protective order, there are still some things you can do to try to stay safe.  For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Tips page.  You will find a list of resources on our AK Places that Help tab on the top of this page.  If you are the victim of sexual abuse, you may want to reach out to an organization for support.  See the national organizations listed on our Rape/ Sexual Assault page.  You can also read more about sexual assault and rape on our Sexual Assault / Rape page.

You may be able to reapply for a protective order if a new incident of stalking or sexual assault occurs after you are denied the order.

If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal.  Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer.  For basic information about appeals, go to our Filing Appeals page.  For legal referrals, go to AK Finding a Lawyer.

What if the abuser violates the order?

If you believe that the abuser has violated the protective order and you feel unsafe, you can immediately call 911 or your local police. Also, you can call your lawyer (if you have one), an advocate at a sexual assault organization, and/or let the court know about the violation by filing a violation petition in court. The violation of an order can be a misdemeanor crime, which can be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.1

According to Alaska law, the police are supposed to make an arrest if:

  1. you report the violation within 12 hours after it happened; and
  2. the police have "probable cause" (a reasonable belief) that the crime of violating the protective order likely occurred.2

To determine if there is probable cause, officers may talk to you, the abuser, and any other witnesses, examine the place where the violation happened, and consider other relevant factors. However, you should know that there are some exceptions to these general rules, so an arrest might not be made in every case.

Note: When the police arrive, it is generally a good idea to write down the name of the officer(s) that are there and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case. Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. This type of documentation may help you get the order modified (changed) in the future, if necessary.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.65.865(b)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.65.530(a)(2)

What should I do when I leave the courtroom?

These are some things you may want to consider after you have been granted a protective order.  Depending on what you think is safest in your situation, you may do any or all of the following:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse.  If something is wrong or missing, ask the clerk how to correct the order before you leave.
  • Make several copies of the protective order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • You might want to inform your employer, clergy, family members, and/or your closest friends that you have a protective order in effect so that they can be aware of the restrictions on the abuser.
  • 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.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.

Ongoing safety planning is important after receiving the order.  Many abusers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe.  Click on the following link for suggestions about Safety Tips.  Advocates at local resource centers can help you design a safety plan and can provide other forms of support.  You can find an advocate in your area on the AK Advocates and Shelters page.

Additional information

The person who sexually assaulted me is being prosecuted in criminal court. Can my sexual history be brought up when I testify?

If the person who sexually assaulted you was arrested and the case goes to trial, you will most likely have to testify about what happened. Alaska has a state law designed to prevent a victim of sexual assault from being re-victimized in the courtroom. The law states that in a prosecution for the crimes of sexual assault in any degree, sexual abuse of a minor in any degree, unlawful exploitation of a minor, or an attempt to commit any of these crimes, before evidence of your sexual conduct (occurring either before or after the crime) can be brought up in court, the information must first be presented to the judge (without the jury hearing it). The judge may allow the information only if s/he determines that your past sexual conduct is relevant to the case and that the importance of the information outweighs the invasion of your privacy and any prejudice or confusion that it may cause to the jury.1

1 See Alaska Statute § 12.45.045(a)

Where can I find additional information about sexual assault?

To read more about sexual assault, you can go to our Learn about Abuse page.  If you have been sexually assaulted, there are several places you may call for help:

  • Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Free, confidential, 24 hrs.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3244 (TTY) for support, shelter, or services. Free, confidential, 24 hrs.
  • If you know a child who is being abused or neglected call the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline for advice and information. This is not the same as reporting the abuse - the purpose is to give you information on options. 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453) Free, confidential, 24 hrs.
  • For stalking, call the National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center at 1-800- FYI-CALL (394-2255) M-F, 8:30 am- 8:30 pm EST or visit their website.
  • For help with legal information, contact Email Hotline at WomensLaw.org

Where can I find additional information on stalking?

You can read more about stalking and cyberstalking and find additional resources in our Learn about Abuse section, on the Stalking/Cyberstalking page. You can read the definitions of the crimes of stalking and harassment in Alaska on our Crimes page.

Moving to Another State with an Alaska Protective Order

Your Alaska protective order can be enforceable wherever you move.

General rules

Can I get my protective order from Alaska enforced in another state?

Yes.  If you have a valid AK protective order that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state.  The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid orders of protection granted in the United States receive "full faith and credit" in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories.1  See How do I know if my protective order is good under federal law? to find out if your protective order qualifies.

Each state must enforce out-of-state orders of protection in the same way it enforces its own orders.  Meaning, if your abuser violates your out-of-state order of protection, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated.  This is what is meant by "full faith and credit."1

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265

How do I know if my protective order is good under federal law?

An protective order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent, or threatening acts, or sexual violence against another person, or it is issued to forbid contact or communication with another person or it is issued to order the abuser to stay away from another person.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case- (in other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte (orders issued with only one party present) and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled within a "reasonable time" after the order is issued.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 USC § 2266(5)(A)
2 18 USC § 2265(a) & (b)

Getting your Alaska protective order enforced in another state

Do I need anything special to get my protective order enforced in a new state?

In most places, you will need a certified copy of your protective order. A certified copy says it is a "true and correct" copy, is signed or initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp. If your copy is not a certified copy, call or go to the court that gave you the order and ask for a certified copy.

If you have already re-located to a different state and do not have a certified copy, you can ask for help from a court clerk, advocate, or attorney in the new state to get a certified copy from the court that gave you the order.

If you are moving to a new state, it may be helpful to take phone numbers for the court clerk in the state that issued the order and the number of the nearest domestic violence program in the new state.

Some states maintain computerized registries of protective orders in their state. If the state that gave you the protective order has a registry, try to get the phone number of the registry manager, or the number of the local or state law enforcement agency that has your order on file.

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.

Note: It is important to keep a copy of your protective order with you at all times. It is also important to know the rules of states you will be living in or visiting, so you can make a good decision about how to get your order enforced and whether or not you should register it in that state.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

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. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your protective order, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.

To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to go to the Places that Help tab at the top of this page and see Advocates and Shelters and Finding a Lawyer.

I have a temporary ex parte order. Can it be enforced in another state?

Possibly, yes.  An ex parte temporary order can be enforced in other states as long as it meets the requirements listed in How do I know if my protective order is good under federal law?

Note: The state where you are going generally cannot extend your ex parte temporary order or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires.  If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court).  However, you may be able to reapply for one in the new state that you are moving to if you meet the requirements for getting a protective order in that state – but, if you apply for one in a new state, the abuser would know what state you are living in, which may put you in danger.

Enforcing temporary custody provisions in another state

I was granted temporary custody with my protective order. Can I take my kids out of the state?

Maybe.  It may depend on the exact wording of the custody provision in your protective order.  You may have to first seek the permission of the court before leaving.  If the abuser was granted visitation rights with your children, then you may have to have the order changed, or show the court that there is a fair and realistic alternative to the current visitation schedule.

To read more about custody laws in Alaska, go to our AK Custody page.

If you are unsure about whether or not you can take your kids out of the state, it is important to talk to a lawyer who understands domestic violence and custody laws, and can help you make the safest decision for you and your children.  You can find contact information lawyers on our AK Finding a Lawyer page.

I was granted temporary custody with my protective order. Will another state enforce this custody order?

Yes.  Custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in a protective order can be enforced across state lines.  Law enforcement and courts in another state are required by federal law to enforce these provisions.1  However, even if your custody order is enforceable in another state, you may need to seek a judge's permission before trying to leave.  See I was granted temporary custody with my protective order. Can I take my kids out of the state?

1 18 USC § 2266

Enforcing an Out-of-State Protection Order in Alaska

You can have your protective order from another state or territory enforced in Alaska.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Alaska

How do I know if my out-of-state protective order is good under federal law?

An protective order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent, or threatening acts, or sexual violence against another person, or it is issued to forbid contact or communication with another person or it is issued to order the abuser to stay away from another person.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case- (in other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte (orders issued with only one party present) and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled within a "reasonable time" after the order is issued.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 USC § 2266(5)(A)
2 18 USC § 2265(a) & (b)

Can my out-of-state or tribal order be enforced in Alaska?

Yes.  A protective order that is issued by a court in another state or territory, a military tribunal, or a tribal court has the same effect and must be recognized and enforced in the same manner as a protective order issued by a court in Alaska as long as one of the following is true:

  1. The order is "related to domestic violence" and it meets the federal law requirements (explained here).  If the order appears to be authentic (real), the police should assume that it is valid and enforce it;1 or
  2. You filed (registered) a certified copy of the order with the clerk of court in any judicial district in Alaska. (If you register the order, it can be related to something other than domestic violence.)  Once you register it, the court will deliver the order to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for entry into the central registry of protective orders.2

1 Alaska Statute §§ 18.66.140(b),(d); 11.56.740(a)(1)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(a),(c)

Can I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Alaska?

No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Alaska.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders pages for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Alaska, you may be able to get a new one issued in Alaska but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Alaska.  To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Alaska, visit our AK Domestic Violence Protective Orders page.

How do I get my out-of-state order enforced by local law enforcement or state troopers in Alaska?

You can call your local law enforcement agency or state trooper office if the abuser violated the order. When the police get there, you should show them a copy of your order. A protective order issued in another state that appears to be authentic (real) is presumed to be valid and the officer is required by law to enforce the order just as if it were issued in Alaska.1

The officer will likely check your order to see whether it has been filed in the central registry for protective orders, which would happen if you filed (registered) your order in a court in Alaska. If you do not have a copy of your order with you, but you filed it in an Alaskan court, a local law enforcement officer or state trooper can likely get the information they need to enforce your order from the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN), which contains information from the central registry for protective orders.

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(b),(d); see also § 11.56.740

I was granted temporary custody with my protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in Alaska?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 Alaska can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.  To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area, click here AK Finding a Lawyer.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.

Registering your out-of-state order in Alaska

If I don’t have a hard copy of my out-of-state order, how can law enforcement enforce it?

To enforce an out-of-state order, law enforcement typically may rely on the National Crime Information Center Protection Order File (NCIC-POF). The NCIC-POF is a nationwide, electronic database that contains information about orders of protection that were issued in each state and territory in the U.S. The Protection Order File (POF) contains court orders that are issued to prevent acts of domestic violence, or to prevent someone from stalking, intimidating, or harassing another person. It contains orders issued by both civil and criminal state courts. The types of protection orders issued and the information contained in them vary from state to state.1

There is no way for the general public to access the NCIC-POF. That means you cannot confirm a protection order is in the registry or add a protection order to the registry without the help of a government agency that has access to it.

Typically, the state police or criminal justice agency in the state has the responsibility of reporting protection orders to NCIC. However, in some cases, the courts have taken on that role and they manage the protection order reporting process.2 NCIC–POF is used by law enforcement agencies when they need to verify and enforce an out-of-state protection order. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

However, not all states routinely enter protection orders into the NCIC. Instead, some states may enter the orders only in their own state protection order registry, which would not be accessible to law enforcement in other states. According to a 2016 report by the National Center for State Courts, more than 700,000 protection orders that were registered in state protection order databases were not registered in the federal NCIC Protection Order File.2 This means that if a law enforcement officer is trying to enforce a protection order from another state that is missing from the NCIC, the victim would likely need to show the officer a hard copy of the order to get it immediately enforced. If you no longer have a copy of your original order, you may want to contact the court that issued the order to ask them how you can get another copy sent to you.

1 National Center for Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit
2 See State Progress in Record Reporting for Firearm-Related Background Checks: Protection Order Submissions, prepared by the National Center for State Courts, April 2016

How do I file my out-of-state or tribal order with the court system?

You can file a certified copy of any out-of-state, unexpired protective order with the clerk of court in any judicial district in Alaska.  It can be an order issued by a court in another state or territory, a United States military tribunal, or a tribal court.1 To see contact information for courthouses where you can file your order, go to our AK Courthouse Locations page.  The clerk will file stamp the order and assign it a civil case number from the Alaska court system.  No copy or notice is distributed to the respondent, the file is not reviewed by a judge, and no hearing is set.

The clerk will then give the order to the appropriate local law enforcement agency for entry into the central registry (the same distribution procedure used for Alaskan protective orders).2 It is important to get a copy of your stamped order and keep a copy on you at all times, in case there is any delay in the order getting entered into the Alaska central registry for protective orders.  

1 Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(b)
2 Alaska Statute § 18.66.140(c)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our AK Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)