Step 1: Go to court to get the petition.
As soon as possible after the abuse occurs, go to the County courthouse where you live, where the abuser lives, or where a civil case is currently pending between you and the abuser to get your petition.* If your county has a Family Court, go to the Family Court clerk (usually in the divorce division). You can obtain a petition during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. To find the courthouse address that you need, go to our AL Courthouse Locations page.
At the courthouse, tell the clerk of court that you want to file a petition for a protection from abuse order. If you are in immediate danger, tell the clerk you also want an emergency (ex parte) order. The clerk will give you the forms. You will also find links to forms online at our AL Download Court Forms page.
Note: Remember to bring photo ID so that you can show it to the clerk when you have to sign your petition in front of the notary. It may also be helpful to have some information about the abuser including:
- a description and plate number of the abuser's car;
- his/her history of drugs or gun ownership;
- addresses/phone numbers of the abuser's residence and employment;
- a copy of any other court papers if there is another relevant court case/order involving you and the abuser;
- the date and place of your marriage, divorce, or separation (if you are the spouse or ex-spouse of your abuser); and
- a photo (for law enforcement to identify him/her when serving the petition).
* Ala. Code § 30-5-3(c)