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Legal Information: Kansas

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
January 17, 2019

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.