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.