Step 3: Sign the verified complaint/motion for protection order and affidavit and submit all forms to the clerk.
A court clerk or notary public must see you sign the verified complaint/motion for protection order and affidavit regarding children. You may either (1) bring the completed, but unsigned paperwork with you when you go to the courthouse to submit it and ask a clerk to witness your signing, or (2) take the completed, but unsigned paperwork with you to a notary public who will witness your signing and notarize the verified complaint/motion for protection order and affidavit regarding children. There may be a fee (usually around five dollars) for a notary. There is no fee for the court clerk.
The judge may wish to ask you questions as s/he reviews your petition. The judge will then decide, based on the information you provide, whether or not to give you a temporary protection order.
If the judge grants a temporary protection order, you will be given a written copy of it. Be sure to obtain any additional copies you might need. You will need at least two copies, one for yourself and one to have served to the abuser (see Step 4: Service of Process for more information). You may need more depending on your situation.
Note: Remember that although the hearing for your temporary protection order will happen without the abuser being there, the abuser does have the right to be present at the hearing for the permanent protection order. For tips on how to deal with seeing the abuser at the hearing for the permanent protection order, see Safety in Court under our Safety Tips page.
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?