What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
Violations of an order can be pursued through the police and/or through filing a contempt petition in court.
Violations enforced by police or through a civil contempt motion:
However, the police can only arrest for certain violations. The police may arrest for a violation of the following terms in an order (and it can be a Class C or D crime).1 If any of the following terms are violated, you can call 911 or otherwise report it to law enforcement:
- Order the Defendant to leave you alone and have no contact with you;
- Order the Defendant not to hurt you or threaten you;
- Order the Defendant to stay away from your home, school, business or place of employment;
- Order the Defendant not to follow you or otherwise stalk you;
- Order the Defendant not to interfere with your property;
- Order the Defendant not to possess a gun or any other dangerous weapon;
- Grant possession of the home to you or the Defendant; and/or
- Order the Defendant to provide suitable housing for you.2
If the Defendant is charged with a violation of the order and prosecuted, you may want to contact the victim advocate at your county district attorney’s office for information and support.
Violations only through a civil contempt motion:
The police cannot arrest for a violation of any of the following terms of the order - for a violation of any of these terms, the plaintiff would have to file a motion in court for civil contempt and the judge can punish the defendant accordingly.1 To file a motion, you can go to the clerk’s office at the courthouse where you got the order:
- Order the Defendant to get counseling or attend a certified batterers’ intervention program;
- Grant custody and care of any pets to you;
- Order division of personal property;
- Order the termination of a life insurance policy that is owned by the defendant if you are the person whose life is insured;
- Order the Defendant to pay temporary support for you and/or your child;
- Order the Defendant to pay you for loss of earnings, injury to you, medical bills, or property or moving expenses that occurred as a direct result of the abuse;
- Order the Defendant to pay court costs or attorney fees; and/or
- Order anything else you need to stay safe.2