How do I get my protection order enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your protection order enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid order if protection is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need a special copy of my protection order to it enforced?
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your protection order. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it.
The copy you originally received may or may not be a certified copy, depending on the county in which it was issued. If your copy is not a certified copy, call or go to the court that gave you the order and ask the clerk’s office for a certified copy.
Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your protection order enforced in another state.
However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your protection order, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the Places that Help tab on the top of this page and then click Finding a Lawyer.
Do I need to tell the court in Colorado if I move?
The abuser may attempt to change (modify) or cancel (vacate) the protection order so you would want the court to have your address so that you can be served with notice of the hearing. If you do decide to provide your new address to the court, you may want to request that it be kept confidential. But remember that confidential records may be accessible to certain court officials or law enforcement officials. If you feel unsafe giving your address, you may give the address of a trusted friend or a P.O. Box.