Legal Information: Alabama

Restraining Orders

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February 11, 2022

Who is eligible for a protection from abuse (PFA) order?

You can be eligible to file for a PFA order if you have been the victim of “domestic abuse,” as defined by Alabama law or if you have reasonable cause to believe that you are in immediate danger of becoming the victim of any act of abuse1and you have one of the following relationships to the abuser:

  • You are related by marriage to the defendant, including a common law marriage;
  • You had a former marriage or common law marriage with the defendant;
  • You have a child in common;
  • You are currently in a dating relationship with the abuser or your dating relationship ended within the last 12 months; 
  • You are a current or former household member of the abuser, which means you lived together while having a romantic or sexual relationship - or you can file against the relative of a current or former household member as long as that person also lived with you; or
  • You are the parent, step-parent, child, or step-child of the abuser and you live or have lived together.2

Note: To file, you must be 18 or older or otherwise emancipated.  A parent, legal guardian, “next friend” or the State Department of Human Resources may file on behalf of a minor or any person prevented by physical or mental incapacity from seeking a protection order.3  If you are filing a petition on behalf of a minor child who is living at home against the child’s parent, step-parent, or legal guardian, you must:

  • have been an eyewitness to the specific acts of abuse or circumstances alleged in the petition;
  • have affidavits from eyewitnesses of the specific acts of abuse or circumstances alleged in the petition; or 
  • have direct physical evidence of the specific acts of abuse or circumstances alleged in the petition.4

If you are filing on behalf of a minor child who is living at home against someone other than a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian of a minor child, you must have reasonable cause to believe that the minor child is a victim of the acts of abuse or circumstances alleged in the petition.4

1 Ala. Code § 30-5-5(a)(1)
2 Ala. Code § 30-5-2(3),(7)
3 Ala. Code § 30-5-5(a)
4 Ala. Code § 30-5-5(c)

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