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.