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, such as a driver’s license, 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 defendant;
- the dates on which the stalking behavior, sexual assault, or human trafficking 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, which is usually within 21 days of filing the petition.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 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” so that you have time to find a lawyer. Go to KS Finding a Lawyer to find help in your area.
You can also read through the At the Hearing 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)