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Legal Information: Kansas

Kansas Restraining Orders

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Restraining Orders

Kansas offers two types of civil protection orders:

  1. protection from abuse orders, which provide protection from an intimate partner or household member; and
  2. protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking orders, which provide protection from a perpetrator regardless of your relationship to that person.

This section includes information about who qualifies for each order and what protections each order can give to you and your children.

Protection from Abuse Orders

A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from an intimate partner or household member.

Basic info

What is a protection from abuse order (PFA)?

A protection from abuse order is also called a restraining order. It is a paper which is signed by a judge and tells the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence.

What is the legal definition of abuse in Kansas?

This section defines abuse (domestic violence) for the purposes of getting a protection from abuse order.  ”Abuse” means any of these acts against an intimate partner or household member:

  • Causing bodily injury or attempting to cause bodily injury;
  • Physically threatening someone with immediate bodily injury;
  • Engaging in any sexual contact or attempting to do so without consent or when the victim is incapable of giving consent; or
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a minor under 16 years of age who is not the spouse of the offender.1

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3102(a)

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are three types of protection from abuse orders in Kansas:

Emergency Protection from Abuse Order:
You can request this type of order from a local law enforcement officer when you need immediate protection and the court is closed. The order would be signed by a district court judge who is on call. The judge must believe there is an immediate and present danger of abuse to you or your minor child. The emergency order is valid only until 5 pm on the next business day that the courthouse is open. You can then apply for a protection from abuse order at the courthouse on that day (the next day that the court is open).1

Temporary Protection from Abuse Order:
You can file for a temporary ex parte order when you file your petition for a protection from abuse order in district court. This type of order can be granted without prior notice to the abuser and without the abuser appearing in court. If a judge finds that you or your family are in immediate danger, s/he can grant a temporary ex parte order, which will last until your final hearing that will usually take place within 21 days.2

Final Protection from Abuse Order:
This type of order is awarded by a judge only after a final hearing in court in which you and the abuser each have an opportunity to present evidence and tell your different sides of the story. A final protection from abuse order lasts for up to one year, but may be extended for one year, two years, or even for the lifetime of the abuser if certain conditions are met.3 For more information on extending an order, see How do I change or extend my order?

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3105(a), (b)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-3106
3 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(e)

What protections can I get in a protection from abuse order?

A protection from abuse order can:

  • order the abuser not to abuse, molest (bother) or interfere with the privacy or rights of you or your children;
  • order the abuser to be excluded from (leave) your shared home and give you possession of the home1 (unless you are not married to the abuser and s/he owns the home, then this will not be ordered)2;
  • order the abuser to not cancel utility service to the home for 60 days;
  • require the abuser to provide alternate housing for you and your children;
  • order the police to remove the abuser from the home and help you return to the home;
  • decide the possession of shared personal property including a car and household goods, and order law enforcement to help get that property, if necessary;
  • establish temporary custody and visitation rights of your children;
  • order child support and, if you are married, spousal support - both of these can last up to 1 year (or 2 years if you file to extend it);
  • require the abuser to seek batterers’ counseling;
  • order either you or the abuser to pay the other’s attorney’s fees; and/or
  • order the abuser to do anything else the judge decides is necessary to protect you and your children.1 (Be sure to ask for anything else you think is important.)

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(a)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(d)

What is a mutual order and how can it hurt me?

A “mutual” order of protection prohibits BOTH parties from abusing, molesting, or interfering with the privacy or rights of each other. It may order that BOTH parties not contact each other.

If you file for a PFA and the defendant (the abuser) files and serves you with a counter-petition saying that you have abused him/her, there are generally two ways in which mutual order may be issued:

  1. the judge would hold a hearing where both you and the abuser present evidence; the judge must believe that you both were primary aggressors and neither of you acted in self-defense; or
  2. If you agree or consent to a mutual order without having a hearing.1

Many times the judges or lawyers will encourage people to consent to an order against them using the rationale that “if you do not plan on violating the order, it shouldn’t bother you to have an order against you.”  However, this way of thinking can be dangerous.  If the abuser gets the restraining order, s/he can easily try to falsely report a violation or trick you into violating the order so that you get arrested, which can have consequences on future custody cases, restraining order cases, or immigration matters.  A judge cannot force you to consent, however.  You have the right to a hearing where you can defend yourself and then the judge will have to decide if the abuser proved his/her case against you. 

If a counter-petition is filed against you or if you are urged to consent to a mutual order, think seriously about getting an attorney to help you.  Go to our KS Finding a Lawyer page.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(b)

 

Where can I file for a protection from abuse order?

You can file a protection from abuse order in any district court in the state.1

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3103

If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?

When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.

There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:

  1. The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
  2. One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
  3. If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.

However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.

You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.

Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.

Who can get a protection from abuse order

Am I eligible to file for a protection from abuse order?

You can seek legal protection from acts of domestic violence done to you or your minor child by an “intimate partner or household member,” which includes:

  • your spouse or ex-spouse;
  • someone who lives with you, currently or in the past;
  • someone whom you are dating or have dated; or
  • someone with whom you have a child in common.1

A parent, court-appointed legal custodian/guardian, or an adult living with a minor child can file on behalf of the minor child if the child has been abused by an intimate partner or household member.2

If you do not qualify for a PFA, you may be able to get a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3102(b)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-3104(b)

Can a minor file for an order?

If a minor was abused, the following people can file a petition for a protection from abuse order on behalf of a minor child:

  • the minor’s parent;
  • an adult who lives with the minor child;
  • the minor’s court-appointed legal custodian; or
  • the minor’s court-appointed legal guardian.1

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3104(b)

Can I get a protection from abuse order against a same-sex partner?

In Kansas, you may apply for a protection from abuse order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for a protection from abuse order? You must also be the victim of an act of abuse, which is explained in What is the legal definition of abuse in Kansas?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

How much does it cost to file?

There is no fee for filing for a protection from abuse order in Kansas.1

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06

Do I need an attorney?

No, you do not need an attorney to file for a protection from abuse order, but it might be better to have one, especially if the abuser is represented by one.  A domestic violence organization in your area may be able to refer you to an attorney or you may be able to contact your local legal services to take your case for free.  Often, domestic violence organizations can help you through the process if you do not have an attorney.  Go to our Places that Help page for a list of organizations and free legal assistance in your area.

Steps for obtaining a protection from abuse order

Step 1: Get the necessary forms and fill them out.

You can find the forms that you will need from the district court clerk at the courthouse, but you may want to find them before you go and fill them out at home or with an advocate from a domestic violence or sexual assault program. You will find links to forms online on the KS Download Court Forms page.   Most shelters and other domestic violence or sexual assault organizations can provide support for you while you fill out these papers and go to court.  Go to our Places that Help page to find an organization in your area.

On the petition, you will be the “plaintiff” and the abuser will be the “defendant.”  You will write about the incidents of violence, using specific language (slapping, hitting, grabbing, threatening, etc.) that fits your situation. Include details and dates, if possible.  In the petition, you can also check off the box to get a temporary, ex parte order.  A judge can grant a temporary order if s/he feels that you or your family are in immediate harm.  The abuser does not have to be with you or be told you are asking the judge for a temporary order, but, the abuser will learn of the temporary order when the order is served and the petition is set for hearing.

Note: The application must be verified, which means you might have to sign it in front of the court clerk or a notary. Check with the court clerk before signing your papers.

You will also need to give a safe mailing address and phone number in case the court needs to contact you. If you are staying at a shelter, give a post office box, not the street address. If you do not have a safe address, ask the clerk how you can keep your address confidential.

Step 2: A judge will review your petition.

When you have filed the forms with the clerk of court, s/he will bring your petition to a judge for review.

If you are in immediate danger and need the protection of a temporary order, you may be required to meet the judge and explain why you think the temporary order is necessary. The abuser will not be present for this hearing.

If the judge believes you or your child are in serious and immediate danger, s/he may give you temporary order which is good for until your full court hearing.

Whether the judge grants you a temporary order or not, you will be given a court date for a full court “hearing” usually within 21 days. This hearing will be in front of a judge at the time shown on the Notice of Hearing. “Notice of the Hearing” is the document that tells the defendant when and where to appear for the full court hearing. At this hearing, both parties will have a chance to explain your sides to the judge.

Step 3: Service of process

The abuser must be served with a notice of hearing and with any PFA orders that a judge has granted you. If the abuser does not receive notice, the hearing will be rescheduled. If this happens, be sure to request that your temporary order be extended until the full hearing can take place.

The court may send copies of the order and notice of hearing to the sheriff, and then law enforcement personnel will serve the abuser.

In addition, you may have to provide some contact information for the defendant/abuser so the police or sheriff can find him/her such as his/her address, birthdate, etc. Do not try to serve the abuser yourself.

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?

Step 4: The protection from abuse order hearing

On the day of the hearing, you must go to the hearing to ask to have your temporary order (usually good for up to 21 days) turned into a final PFA order, which can last for up to 1 year.1

If you do not go to the hearing, your temporary order will expire and you will have to start the process all over again. If you do not show up at the hearing it may be harder for you to be granted an order in the future.  

If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may enter a “default” order, granting you what you requested in your petition. The judge may also decide to postpone the date of the hearing in order to be able to hear testimony from the abuser.  If the judge postpones the hearing (a continuance), then be sure to have your temporary order extended until that time.

You may wish to hire a lawyer to help with your case, especially if the abuser has a lawyer.  If the abuser shows up with a lawyer, you can ask the judge for a “continuance” (a later court date) so that you have time to find a lawyer.  Go to KS Places that Help to find help in your area.

You can also read through the Preparing your Case section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused - this may be especially helpful if you are representing yourself. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(e)

After the hearing

Can the abuser have a gun?

Once you get a protection order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession.  There are a few places where you can find this information:

  • first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in Kansas have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
  • second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
  • third you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.

You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Here are some steps that you may want to take before, and after, leaving the courthouse:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If you have any questions about it, be sure to ask the clerk or, if possible, the judge.
  • Make several copies of the PFA order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the PFA order with you at all times.
  • Leave copies of the PFA order at your workplace, at your home, at your children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
  • You may wish to consider changing your locks, if permitted by law or by your lease, and your phone number.

You may also wish to make a safety plan.  People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Tips.

I was not granted a PFA. What are my options?

If you are not granted a PFA order, there are still some things you can do to stay safe. It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence or sexual assault programs in your area to get help, support, and give you advice on how to stay safe. They can help you develop a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need. For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Tips page. You will find a list of Kansas resources on our Places that Help page.

If you were not granted a PFA order because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify as a “family or household member,” you may be able to seek protection through an order against stalking.  You will find more information about this process in our Protection from Stalking Orders section.

You may also be able to reapply for a PFA order if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order.  

If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal. Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer.  You can read more on our Filing Appeals page.

 

 

What can I do if the abuser violates the order?

If the defendant violates the PFA order, you can call 911 immediately. In some cases, the defendant can be arrested right away. Tell the officers you have a PFA and the defendant is violating it. Violating a PFA order can be a class A person misdemeanor. Violation of an extended PFA, which was extended for at least 2 years due to the defendant violating the first order or due to him/her being convicted of certain crimes against you, can be a level 6, person felony.1

Another option can be to file for civil contempt in the court that issued the PFA order for a violation of the order.2 The abuser can be held in “civil contempt” if s/he does anything that your PFA order orders him/her not to do. To file for civil contempt, go to the clerk’s office and ask for the petition to file for claiming a violation of the order. The violation petition and a summons must be served upon the abuser, or the court may issue a warrant for his/her arrest.

1 Kan. Stat. § 21-5924(b)
2 See Kan. Stat. § 60-3110

How do I change or extend my order?

To modify your order, you can go back to the court where you got it and file a modification petition with the clerk.  The judge can amend an order at any time based on a motion filed by either party.1

To extend your order, you can file for an extension.  You must request this renewal before your original order expires.  If you request it, a judge may extend your order by granting a renewal for 1 additional year.2  An order can be extended for at least 2 years and at most, for the lifetime of the abuser if you can prove:

  1. the abuser violated a valid protection order (either the current order or a prior order); or 
  2. the abuser has been convicted of a “person felony” or any conspiracy, criminal solicitation or attempt of a “person felony” against you or any member of your household.3

For advice about your particular situation, please talk to a lawyer.  You can find lawyer referrals on our KS Finding a Lawyer page.

1 K.S.A. § 60-3107(f)
2 K.S.A. § 60-3107(e)(1)
3 K.S.A. § 60-3107(e)(2)

What happens if I move?

If you move within Kansas, your order will still be valid. Additionally, the federal law provides what is called “Full Faith and Credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands.

If you are moving to a new state, you may also call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111x2) for information on enforcing your order in another state.

To read more information about moving out of KS with a PFA, please see our Moving with a Kansas Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) page.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

Protection from Stalking, Sexual Assault, or Human Trafficking Orders

A protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order is a civil order that provides protection from someone who has stalked you, sexually assaulted you, or trafficked you regardless of your relationship with that person.

Basic information

What is the legal definition of stalking in Kansas?

For the purpose of getting a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order, “stalking” is intentional harassment that puts you in reasonable fear for your safety.

Harassment means repeated behaviors or actions (known as a “course of conduct”) that seriously frighten or annoy you and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.

The “course of conduct” must include two or more separate acts over a period of time (even a short period of time) that shows a continuing purpose by the offender. Also, there must be no legitimate (valid) reason for these actions or behaviors.1

Note: The stalker does not have to be arrested or charged with the crime of stalking in order for you to apply for this protection order but you must allege that the person committed an act that would be considered stalking.2

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a02(d)
2 See generally Kan. Stat. §§ 60–31a01; 60–31a05

What is the legal definition of sexual assault in Kansas?

For the purpose of getting a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order, “sexual assault” means:

  • a sexual act that was done to someone without his/her consent;
  • an attempted sexual act that was committed using force, the threat of force, or duress (pressure and coercion); or
  • an attempted sexual act that was committed against someone who was incapable of giving consent.1

Note: The perpetrator does not have to be arrested or charged with sexual assault in order for you to apply for this protection order but you must allege that the person committed an act that would be considered sexual assault.2

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a02(c)
2 See generally Kan. Stat. §§ 60–31a01; 60–31a05

What is the legal definition of human trafficking in Kansas?

For the purpose of getting a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order, “human trafficking” is when someone is the victim of any of the following acts:

Note: The trafficker does not have to be arrested or charged with one of these crimes in order for you to apply for this protection order but you must allege that the trafficker committed an act that would be considered one of these crimes.2

1 Kan. Stat. §§ 60–31a02(a); 21-5426; 21-6419; 21-6422
2 See generally Kan. Stat. §§ 60–31a01; 60–31a05

What types of protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking orders are there? How long do they last?

In Kansas, there are two types of protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking orders.

Ex parte temporary order
When you file your petition in court, the judge can issue an immediate ex parte temporary order if there is “good cause” to do so. (“Ex parte” means that the order can be issued without prior notice to the abuser and without him/her being present in court.) This temporary order will last until your full court hearing for the final order, which is usually within 21 days. At the hearing, both you and the abuser will have an opportunity to testify and present evidence.1

Final order
After a hearing in which you both have an opportunity to tell your side of the story through your testimony, evidence, and witnesses, a judge can grant you a final order. A final order expires on the date set by the judge and can last for a period of up to 1 year, but can be extended under certain circumstances.2 See How can I change or extend my protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order? for more information.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05(a), (b)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(b), (c), (d)

What protections can I get in a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order?

A temporary ex parte order or a final order can include any or all of the following protections:

  • order the abuser not to follow, harass, telephone, or make contact with you in any way;
  • order the abuser not to violate your privacy rights;
  • order the abuser not to enter your home or the area immediately around your home;
  • order the abuser not to commit or attempt to commit sexual assault upon you;
  • order the abuser to not recruit, harbor, transport, commit, or attempt to commit human trafficking against you or otherwise communicate with you;
  • order the abuser not to violate your privacy rights; and
  • order any other protections the judge considers necessary.1

Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

1 Kan. Stat. §§ 60-31a05(b); 60-31a06(a)

If the abuser lives in a different state, can I still get an order against him/her?

When you and the abuser live in different states, the judge may not have “personal jurisdiction” (power) over an out-of-state abuser. This means that the court may not be able to grant an order against him/her.

There are a few ways that a court can have personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state abuser:

  1. The abuser has a substantial connection to your state. Perhaps the abuser regularly travels to your state to visit you, for business, to see extended family, or the abuser lived in your state and recently fled.
  2. One of the acts of abuse “happened” in your state. Perhaps the abuser sends you threatening texts or harassing phone calls from another state but you read the messages or answer the calls while you are in your state. The judge could decide that the abuse “happened” to you while you were in your state. It may also be possible that the abuser was in your state when s/he abused you s/he but has since left the state.
  3. If you file your petition and the abuser gets served with the court petition while s/he is in your state, this is another way for the court to get jurisdiction.

However, even if none of the above apply to your situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get an order. If you file, you may be granted an order on consent or the judge may find other circumstances that allow the order to be granted.

You can read more about personal jurisdiction in our Court System Basics - Personal Jurisdiction section.

Note: If the judge in your state refuses to issue an order, you can file for an order in the courthouse in the state where the abuser lives. However, remember that you will likely need to file the petition in person and attend various court dates, which could be difficult if the abuser’s state is far away.

Who can get an order

Who can file for a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order?

An adult victim of stalking. sexual assault, or human trafficking can file a petition on his/her own behalf regardless of the relationship with the abuser.1

If the victim is a minor (a person under the age of 18), an adult will likely have to file on his/her behalf.2 See Can a minor file for an order? for more information.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(b)

Can a minor file for an order?

For a minor victim of stalking or sexual assault, the following people can file a petition for an order on behalf of the minor child:

  • the minor’s parent;
  • an adult who lives with the minor child;
  • the minor’s court-appointed legal custodian; or
  • the minor’s court-appointed legal guardian.1

For a minor victim of human trafficking, the following people can file a petition for an order on behalf of the minor child:

  • the minor’s parent;
  • an adult who lives with the minor child;
  • the minor’s court-appointed legal custodian;
  • the minor’s court-appointed legal guardian;
  • a county attorney;
  • a district attorney; or
  • the attorney general.2

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(b)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(c)

How much does it cost?

You do not have to pay anything to file for a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order.1 If you are granted a final order, the judge may require the defendant to pay the court fees and may also require that s/he pay your attorney fees. However, if the judge decides that your stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking claim is not valid, s/he may require you to pay the defendant’s attorney fees.2

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(e)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(f)

Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order but it is generally better to have one if you can, especially if the abuser has an attorney. In many places, local domestic violence or sexual assault programs can help you file for an order.

Please keep in mind that courthouse officials and domestic violence advocates who are not lawyers cannot give you legal advice or represent you in court. You will find a list of legal organizations that might be able to help you at the KS Finding a Lawyer page. You can also find contact information for the courthouse in your area at the KS Courthouse Locations page. You can download the petition on our KS Download Court Forms page or you can get them at the courthouse.

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.

Steps for getting a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order

Step 1: Get the petition.

A petition for a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order can be filed with a judge or clerk of the court in any district court.1 If the petition is being filed by an adult on behalf of the minor, the law clarifies that the petition has to be filed in the county where the stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking occurred.2

You can find the forms online in our KS Download Court Forms page. You can also get the forms from the clerk of the court at your local district court.3 To find a list of courthouses in Kansas, see our KS Courthouse Locations page. Remember to bring some form of identification (a driver’s license or picture I.D.) with you to the courthouse. You may also want to call the courthouse in advance (if you can) to see if there are certain times that petitions are presented to the judge.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(b)
3 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(d)

Step 2: Fill out the forms.

When you fill out the necessary forms to get a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order, you will be known as the plaintiff and the abuser will be the defendant. You will need to include in the petition:

  • your name;
  • the name of the abuser (defendant);
  • the dates on which the stalking behavior or sexual assault took place; and
  • the specific acts committed.1

Note: Your address and telephone number will not be shown to the defendant or to the public.2

Read the petition carefully and ask questions to the courthouse staff if you don’t understand something. Do not sign the forms until you have shown them to a court clerk since you may need to sign them in front of a notary or a clerk at the courthouse.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(a)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(f)

Step 3: A judge will review your petition and may grant you an ex parte temporary order.

Your petition will be given to the judge. If the judge believes there is “good cause” to do so, s/he can grant you an immediate ex parte temporary order. This order will stay in effect until the full hearing (within 21 days of filing the petition) at which time you can be granted a final order.1 Copies of the temporary order and the petition you filed will be given to you. Remember to keep a copy of the temporary order with you at all times.

The defendant will have to be formally served with the petition, the ex parte order, and the notice of the hearing by “personal service.”2 The clerk of court should be able to tell you how the defendant will have to be served and who can serve him/her.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05(e)

Step 4: The hearing

Whether or not a judge granted you a temporary ex parte order when you filed your petition, a court date will usually be set for a hearing on your petition within 21 days of filing.1 At this hearing, both you and the abuser will have the chance to present evidence, testimony, and witnesses to prove your case to the judge. Then the judge will decide whether or not to give you a final order. It is very important that you attend the court hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, your temporary order (if you have one) will expire.

If the abuser does not show up for the hearing, the judge may enter a “default” order, granting you what you requested in your petition. The judge may also decide to postpone the date of the hearing in order to be able to hear testimony from the abuser. If the judge postpones the hearing, be sure to ask that your temporary order will be extended until the next hearing date.

You may wish to hire a lawyer to help with your case, especially if the abuser has a lawyer. If the abuser shows up with a lawyer, you can ask the judge for a “continuance” (a later court date) so that you have time to find a lawyer. Go to KS Places that Help to find help in your area.

You can also read through the Preparing your Case section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused - this may be especially helpful if you are representing yourself. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a05(a)

After the hearing

What should I do when I leave the courthouse?

Here are some steps that you may want to take before, and after, leaving the courthouse:

  • Review the order before you leave the courthouse. If you have any questions about it, be sure to ask the clerk or, if possible, the judge.
  • Make several copies of the order as soon as possible.
  • Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
  • Leave copies of the order at your workplace, at your home, at your children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
  • Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
  • Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.

The court will keep your address and telephone number confidential and they will not be shown to the defendant – they will only be shown to authorized court personnel or law enforcement officers.1

It’s best to also think about developing a “safety plan” for you and your family. See our Safety Tips page for tips on how to protect yourself. In addition, a local domestic violence or sexual assault organization may be able to help you design a safety plan that’s right for you. See our KS Advocates and Shelters page for a list of resources in your area,

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a04(f)

What happens if the defendant violates the order?

If the defendant violates any part of the order, you can call the police and report the violation. S/he can be held in contempt1 by the judge and, depending on what s/he did to violate the order, s/he may also be charged with a crime.

Depending on which part of the order the defendant violates, s/he can be charged with whatever crime s/he commits (i.e., stalking, battery, criminal trespass, a sex offense, or human trafficking).2 In addition, violating a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order can be a class A person misdemeanor.

If your order was extended for at least two years due to the defendant violating the original order or due to the defendant being convicted of certain crimes against you, then a violation of the extended order can be a level 6, person felony.3

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a09
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(a)
3 Kan. Stat. § 21-5924(b)

How can I change or extend my protection from stalking,sexual assault, or human trafficking order?

Changing an order
An order can be changed by a judge at any time upon a motion (a formal request filed in court) by either you or the defendant.1

Extending an order
To extend your order, you must apply for the extension before the expiration of your one-year order. If you request it, a judge may extend your order by granting a renewal for one additional year.2 An order can be extended for at least two years and at most, for the lifetime of the defendant if you can prove:

  • the defendant violated a valid protection order (either the current order or a prior order); or
  • the defendant has been convicted of a “person felony” or any conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or attempt of a “person felony” against you or any member of your household.3

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(e)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(b), (c)
3 Kan. Stat. § 60-31a06(d)

Moving with a Kansas Protection from Abuse Order (PFA)

If you are moving to another state or are going to be out of the state for any reason, your protection from abuse order can still be enforceable.

General rules

Can I get my PFA from Kansas enforced in another state?

Yes. If you have a valid Kansas PFA that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act, which is a federal law, states that all valid PFAs granted in the United States receive “full faith and credit” in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories. See the question below to find out if your PFA qualifies.

Each state must enforce out-of-state PFAs in the same way it enforces its own orders, which means that if the abuser violates your out-of-state PFA, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. This is what is meant by “full faith and credit.”

How do I know if my PFA is good under federal law?

An PFA is good anywhere in the United States as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

 

I have a temporary (ex parte) order. Can it be enforced in another state?

Yes. An ex parte temporary order can be enforced in other states as long as it meets the requirements listed in How do I know if my PFA is good under federal law?1

Note: The state where you are going generally cannot extend your ex parte temporary order or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the state that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone (if that is an option offered by the court). However, you may be able to reapply for one in the new state that you are moving to if you meet the requirements for getting a protective order in that state – but, if you apply for one in a new state, the abuser would know what state you are living in, which may put you in danger.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(b)(2)

Getting your PFA enforced in another state

How do I get my PFA enforced in another state? 

Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your protection from abuse order (PFA) enforced in another state.

Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid PFA is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)

Do I need a special copy of my PFA to it enforced?

In some states, you will need a certified copy of your PFA. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. In Kansas, a certified order has a stamped seal on it. You may want to get several copies of the order to leave in different places, such as work and home. There may or may not be a small fee for additional copies, depending on the issuing county.

Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.

Can I get someone to help me?  Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer to get your PFA enforced in another state.

However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your PFA, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.

To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, please visit the KS Finding a Lawyer page.

Do I need to tell the court in Kansas if I move?

In general, the court that issued you your protection from abuse order may need to have an up-to-date address for you at all times, because they will communicate with you only by mail if anything happens regarding your protection form abuse order - for example, if the abuser asks the court to dismiss or change your order in any way. If you will not be receiving mail at your old address, you must provide the court with a new address where you can receive mail.

If you provide your new address to the court, you can ask that they keep it confidential. However, your new address could possibly be released to court officials in your new state or law enforcement officials in either Kansas or your new state. If you feel unsafe giving your new address, you may use the address of a friend you trust or a P.O. box instead.

Enforcing custody provisions in another state

I was granted temporary custody with my PFA. Can I take my kids out of the state?

Maybe. It may depend on the exact wording of the custody provision in your PFA. You may have to first seek the permission of the court before leaving. If the abuser was granted visitation rights with your children, then you may have to have the order changed, or show the court that there is a fair and realistic alternative to the current visitation schedule.

To read more about custody, please see our Custody page.

If you are unsure about whether or not you can take your kids out of the state, it is important to talk to lawyer who understands domestic violence and custody laws, and can help you make the safest decision for you and your children. You can find contact information for local domestic violence organizations and legal assistance in the KS area on our KS Places that Help page.

I was granted temporary custody with my PFA.  Will another state enforce this custody order?

Yes. Custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in a PFA can be enforced across state lines. Law enforcement and courts in another state are required by federal law to enforce these provisions.1

1 18 USC § 2266

Enforcing an Out-of-State Order in Kansas

If you are planning to move to Kansas or are going to be in Kansas for any reason, your protection or restraining order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Kansas

Can I get my protection order enforced in Kansas? What are the requirements?

Yes.  Your protection order can be enforced in KS as long as:

  • It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.1
  • The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
  • The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
    • In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.2

In Kansas, presentation of a certified copy is not necessary for enforcement; it can be a written or electronically imaged copy.

Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.

1 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b)

Can I have my protection order changed, extended, or canceled in KS?

No.  Only the state that issued your foreign protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Kansas.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living.  To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued. 

I was granted temporary custody with my PFA.  Will I still have temporary custody of my children in KS?

Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,1 Kansas can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.  However, before leaving the state that issued the order, you should talk to an attorney to make sure that moving out of your state would not violate any custodial interference laws or any court rules regarding moving out of state. 

To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets these standards, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area click here KS Finding a Lawyer.

1 The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

 

Registering your out-of-state order in Kansas

What is the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry? Who has access to it?

The National Crime Information Center Registry (NCIC) is a nationwide, electronic database used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S, Canada, and Puerto Rico. It is managed by the FBI and state law enforcement officials.

Before moving to Kansas, the state that issued your protection order may already have entered your order into the NCIC. If not, your order will be entered into the NCIC once your order is registered in KS.

All law enforcement officials have access to the NCIC database, but the information is encrypted so outsiders cannot access it.

How do I register my protection order in Kansas? Do I have to do so?

You have the option to (but are not required to) register a foreign protection order in Kansas.  There is no fee to register the order.1  To register a foreign protection order in Kansas, you must present a certified copy of the order to the sheriff in the county where the protection order will be enforced.  The sheriff will contact the courthouse where your order was issued to verify that the order is real and request that they enter the order (if it has not already been entered) into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Registry and other appropriate databases.1  

If you need help registering your protection order, you can contact a local domestic violence organization in Kansas for assistance. You can find contact information for organizations in your area here on our KS Advocates and Shelters Page page.

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31b05(a),(b)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-3112

Does it cost anything to register my protection order?

No. There is no fee for registering your protective order in Kansas.1

1 Kan. Stat. § 60-31b05(b)

Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1  However, you may wish to confirm that the clerk is aware of this law before registering the order if your address is confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to.  It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living.  We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips page.  You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our KS Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)