How do I get my protection from abuse order enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your protection from abuse order enforced in another state. However, many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about enforcement of out-of-state orders. These rules differ from state to state, so it is important to find out what the rules are before you try to get your protection from abuse order enforced in another state. Although knowing the state rules can make enforcement easier, a valid protection from abuse order is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.
Do I need anything special to get my protection from abuse order enforced?
In most states, you will need a certified copy of your protection from abuse order. A certified copy says that it is a "true and correct" copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp.
In Maine, a certified copy has a raised seal. If your copy is not a certified copy, call or go to the court that gave you the order and ask for a certified copy. You can find contact information for courthouses in Maine on our ME Courthouse Locations page.
Can I get someone to help me through this process? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your protection from abuse order enforced in another state.
However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate can let you know what the advantages and disadvantages are for registering your order, and help you through the process if you decide to do so.
To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state to which you are moving, go to our Finding a Lawyer page and select the appropriate state from the drop-down menu.