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Legal Information: Missouri

Restraining Orders

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January 1, 2024

Step 1: Get and file the necessary forms.

To get the forms, you can go to the circuit court in:

  • the county where you live;
  • the county where the domestic violence occurred; or
  • any county where the abuser can be served.1

You can find the locations of these courthouses on our MO Courthouse Locations page. You can also find links to petitions online by going to our MO Download Court Forms page.

You can go to the civil court clerk and request a petition for a full order of protection. Also tell the clerk if you want an ex parte order. You can read more about the types of orders in What types of orders of protection are there? How long do they last?

You will want to carefully fill out the petition. When filling out the forms, you will be referred to as the “petitioner” and the abuser will be called the “respondent.” When writing about incidents of violence or abuse, use descriptive language that fits your situation. Descriptive language means words that tell what the abuser did, for example, “slapping,” “hitting,” “grabbing,” “choking,” “threatening,” etc. Be specific. Include details, dates, and locations, if you can. Mention any injuries, pain, or fear that the abuser’s actions caused you.

A domestic violence advocate may be able to help you fill out the forms. To find an advocate or an organization near you please visit the MO Advocates and Shelters page. If you need to file for an order of protection when the circuit court is closed, you can. See Can I get an order of protection when the courthouse is closed? for more information.

If the abuser doesn’t know your address, you can ask the clerk how to keep your address confidential. If you are asked to give a mailing address, you may not have to give one if you tell the clerk or judge that sharing the address would put you or other family or household members in danger. Also, the law says that you cannot be required to give your Social Security number on any court document like a petition that the abuser may have access to.2

Please remember not to sign the petition until you have shown it to a clerk, as the form may need to be notarized or signed in the presence of court personnel. Also, you may need to bring photo ID for the notary. It may also help to have some information about the abuser such as a photo, addresses where the abuser lives or works, any history of drugs or gun ownership, etc.

1 MO ST §§ 455.073(1)(2); 455.015
2 MO ST § 455.030(3)