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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of April 5, 2024

What are my options if I don’t qualify for a civil protection order?

To qualify for a civil protection order (CPO), you must either be filing based on a crime committed by a family member, household member, or intimate partner, or you must be filing against someone who sexually assaulted or trafficked you. See Who can get a civil protection order? to see if your relationship meets the requirements.

Even if you do not qualify for a CPO, if you are experiencing stalking, you may be eligible for an anti-stalking order.

If you don’t qualify for a CPO, remember that the abuser may still be committing a crime for which you can get a criminal court restraining order if s/he is charged with a crime. For example, assault is illegal in D.C., no matter who assaults you, even though you may not qualify for a CPO if you do not have an eligible relationship with the abuser.