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Legal Information: Alabama

Restraining Orders

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September 1, 2023

What protections can I get in a protection from abuse order?

In an emergency (ex parte) protection from abuse order, a judge can:

  • order the abuser to:
    • stop committing or threatening to commit acts of abuse against you, your children, and anyone else included in the order;
    • stop harassing, annoying, and stalking you and your children;
    • stop calling or contacting you and your children directly or indirectly, such as through another person;
    • stop committing or threatening any conduct that puts you or your children in reasonable fear of physical injury;
    • not have physical or violent contact with you or your property;
    • stay at least 300 feet away from your home even if you share the home with the abuser, from your work, from your children’s school, and any other specific place that you go to often;
    • be removed (excluded) from your home, regardless of who owns the home;
    • not interfere with the custody of your children and not remove the children from the state; and
    • not destroy, sell, or conceal joint property;1
  • grant you:
    • temporary custody of the children;
    • possession of a car and other personal items, regardless of ownership; (Note: You can ask for a police escort to go with you to the home to remove your children or belongings from the home); and
    • any other relief that is necessary to provide for the safety and protection you, your children, and other family or household members.1

    In a permanent protection from abuse order, a judge can:

    • grant all of the protections of the emergency (ex parte) order listed above; and 
    • make the following additional orders:
      • give you possession of the family home and have the abuser evicted from the home – or, if both parties consent, the abuser can provide “suitable alternate housing” if the abuser has a duty to support you or your children;
      • award you child support and spousal support;
      • make the abuser pay your attorney’s fees and court costs;
      • let the abuser have supervised or unsupervised visitation with the child, if appropriate, or deny visitation;
      • give you temporary possession of the car if:
        • you have no other transportation of your own; and
        • the abuser has more than one car or has alternate transportation.2

    Note: Although the law doesn’t specifically allow the judge to include firearm prohibition in the terms of the order, Alabama state law does make firearm possession illegal for anyone who is subject to a valid protection order for domestic abuse, issued after notice and a hearing; so, not an ex parte temporary order.3

    In addition, federal laws, which apply to all states and territories, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if you have a final restraining order against him/her that meets certain requirements. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

    1 Ala. Code § 30-5-7(b)
    2 Ala. Code § 30-5-7(c)
    3 Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(a), (h)(8)