How much does it cost to get an order of protection? Do I need a lawyer?
There are no fees for you to file for an order of protection due to domestic violence.1 However, after a hearing for a full order of protection, the judge could order the abuser (respondent) to pay court costs.2 Also, the judge could order the abuser to pay for your attorney’s fees for the time period before bringing the court case, during the court case, and after the entry of judgment.3
You do not need an attorney to file for an order of protection, but it may be better to have one if you can, especially if you think the abuser will have one. You can find free and paid legal referrals on our MO Finding a Lawyer page.
In many places, local domestic violence or sexual assault programs and court clerks’ offices can help you file for an order of protection. You will find a list of local programs that might be able to help you on the MO Advocates and Shelters page. You will find contact info for court clerks on the MO Courthouse Locations page.
If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.
1 MO ST § 455.027
2 MO ST § 455.050(3)
3 MO ST § 455.075