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 a protection from stalking, sexual assault, or human trafficking order.
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 an Appeal 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 can be a level 6, person felony, in some circumstances.1
Another option can be to file for civil contempt in the court that issued the PFA 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 change (“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 modify an order at any time based on a motion filed by either party.1
To extend your order, you can file for an extension/renewal before your original order expires. If you request it, a judge may extend the order by granting a renewal for one additional year.2 It is also possible for the judge to extend the order for any period of time from two years to the lifetime of the abuser if you can prove:
- the abuser violated a valid protection order, either the current order or a prior order; or
- 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 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(f)
2 Kan. Stat. § 60-3107(e)(1)
3 Kan. Stat. § 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.
For more information, 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.
If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?
According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:
- the petition you file;
- the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
- the registration of an order in a different state.1
1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)