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Legal Information: Delaware

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of March 26, 2024

Who can file for a lethal violence protective order?

You can file for a non-emergency lethal violence protective order if the respondent poses a danger of causing physical injury to himself/herself or others by controlling, owning, buying, having, having access to, or receiving a firearm. Additionally, to file for a non-emergency lethal violence protective order you must be:

  • the respondent’s “family member”; or
  • a law enforcement officer.1

“Family members” include:

  • a current or former spouse;
  • someone with whom the respondent was “cohabitating,” meaning living together as a couple, with or without a child in common;
  • a custodian;
  • a child;
  • someone with whom the respondent has or had a “substantive” dating relationship;
  • someone with whom the respondent has a child in common, even if they don’t live together;
  • someone related to by the respondent by blood or marriage who lives with the respondent together in one household; or
  • someone related to the respondent in any of the following ways:
    • mother, father;
    • mother-in-law, father-in-law;
    • brother, sister;
    • brother-in-law, sister-in-law;
    • grandparent, grandchild;
    • stepmother, stepfather; or
    • child, stepchild, daughter-in-law, son-in-law.2

All of the relationships listed above include both blood relationships and relationships formed through adoption.2

Note: Only a law enforcement officer can file for an emergency lethal violence protective order.3 You can read more about the difference between the two in What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

1 10 Del. Code § 7701(4)
2 10 Del. Code §§ 1041(2); 901(12)
10 Del. Code § 7703(a)