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:
- 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
- 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.