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 if you or the defendant file a motion to modify the order.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)
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)