Step 4: Service of process
The abuser must be served with the papers that tell him/her about the hearing date (called Notice of an Application for a Protection from Abuse order), a copy of the petition that you filed, and your emergency PFA (if the judge gave you one). If you are granted an emergency PFA, the clerk of court will tell you where to go to get the papers served on the abuser. The PFA order is not effective until it is served on the abuser. There is no fee for service.1
Note: Do not attempt to serve the papers on the abuser yourself.
1 Ala. Code § 30-5-5(e)
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?