Legal Information: Kentucky

Restraining Orders

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January 25, 2019

Where do I file for a criminal complaint? What do I need to bring?

If you are filing against an adult, you can file a criminal complaint at the district court clerk’s office. If you are filing against a juvenile (under 18), it is likely filed with a court designated worker, which may be at a different address than the district court. This will vary by county. You can ask the clerk at your county's district court for more information.1 You must file the complaint in the county where the abuse occurred.

You will need to bring a valid I.D. with your picture. You will need the full name and complete address of the person you wish to file against (the defendant). A date of birth and social security number of the defendant are also helpful.1 It is also helpful to bring the names and addresses of any witnesses with you. Depending on the county you are in, you might need a police report if you are reporting certain crimes, such as felonies or thefts.1 You might want to call ahead to ask the clerk whether a police report is necessary before filing the complaint. There is no fee to file, and you do not need a lawyer.

1 See, for example, Fayette County Domestic Violence Resource Guide