Who can get a protection order?
You may file for a protection order if you have been the victim of abuse by a family or household member or a dating partner, which includes:
- your spouse or former spouse;
- your parent;
- your brother or sister;
- your grandparent;
- family members related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage;
- anyone with whom you live, currently or in the past;
- anyone with whom you have had a child (even if you were not married); and
- anyone with whom you are or were in a dating relationship.1
A custodial or noncustodial parent or guardian may file a petition on behalf of a minor child (under 18) who is the victim of domestic violence.2
1 I.C. § 39-6303
2 I.C. §§ 32-101; 39-6304(2)
Can I get a protection order against a same-sex partner?
In Idaho, you may apply for a protection order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Who can get a protection order? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic violence, which is explained in What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Idaho?
You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.
Can a minor get a protection order?
A custodial or noncustodial parent or guardian may file a petition on behalf of a minor child (under 18) who is the victim of domestic violence.1
1 I.C. §§ 32-101; 39-6304(2)
How much does it cost to get a protection order? Do I need a lawyer?
There is no cost to file for a protection order or to have it served upon the abuser.1
You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection order, however, it may be helpful to have one to make sure that your rights are protected, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If when you go to the hearing, the respondent (abuser) has a lawyer, you have the right to request a “continuance” so that you can get a lawyer as well. Also, if the judge believes that it is necessary for both parties to be represented by lawyers, the judge can enter an order to ensure that lawyers are retained. The order may require either you or the respondent (or both) to pay the attorneys’ fees. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can try to get a lawyer through a local legal services organization if you qualify.2 Go to ID Finding a Lawyer for legal referrals.
If you are representing yourself, the domestic violence organizations in your area and/or court staff may be able to answer some of your questions or help you fill out the necessary court forms.
1 I.C. § 39-6305
2 I.C. § 39-6306(1)
If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.
What can I do if I don't qualify for a protection order?
Even if you don’t qualify for an order, the abuser may be committing a crime. To read the definitions of some crimes in Idaho, you can go to our ID Crimes page. If charges are pressed against the perpetrator, a judge may be able to order him/her to stay away from you through a criminal court protection order.
In addition, you may qualify for a protection order against malicious harassment, stalking, and telephone harassment if you are the victim of stalking or harassment.
If you’re being emotionally abused or abused in some other way that isn’t covered by a protection order, you may want to contact a domestic violence organization in your area. They can help you figure out your options and offer you support. To find help in your state, please click on the ID Places that Help page.