Step 1: Go to court to file your petition.
You will file your petition in the magistrate division of the district court in the county where you live (temporarily or permanently) or where the abuser lives.1 You can find the address for the district court near you by going to our Idaho Courthouse Locations page. The clerk can give you the petition and any other forms you will need to fill out. You can also find links to online forms by going to our Idaho Download Court Forms page.
When filling out the forms, you will be referred to as the “petitioner” and the abuser will be called the “respondent.” When writing about incidents of violence, use descriptive language - words like “slapping”, “hitting”, “grabbing”, “choking”, “threatening”, etc. - that fits your situation. Be specific. Include details and dates, if you can.
A domestic violence organization may be able to provide you with help filling out the form. See Idaho Advocates and Shelters for the location of an organization near you.
Remember to bring some form of identification, like your driver’s license or other ID that includes your picture. Do not sign the petition until you have shown it to a clerk. It may need to be notarized or signed in the presence of court personnel.
Note: Idaho has Court Assistance Offices (CAO), which provide various services to the public to help ensure equal access to the courts. Services include: review of CAO court forms and documents before they are filed; availability of public access computers for interactive forms; help with general form/document questions; assistance with calculating child support and completing a parenting plan; collection of instructional videos, brochures, and pamphlets on topics such as introduction to the court system, family law matters, domestic violence, etc.; legal research assistance on Law Library website. To find your local office, click here.
1 I.C. § 39-6304(2), (6)