Step 4: The hearing for the full order of protection
If you want to get a full order of protection, you must go to the hearing. If you do not go to the hearing, the court may dismiss your case. If you received an ex parte order, it will expire and you will have to start the process over. If you do not show up at the hearing it may even possibly be harder for you to be granted an order in the future.
At the hearing, both you and your abuser will have the chance to present evidence, witnesses, and give testimony to prove your case. You must prove that the abuser has committed the act(s) of domestic violence (as defined by the law) that you alleged in your petition. You must also convince a judge that you need protection and the specific things you asked for in the order. See the At the Hearing section for ways you can show the judge that you were abused. You can learn more about the court system in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section. The judge will then decide whether or not to grant you a final order of protection. If the abuser was served but does not show up for the hearing, the judge may still grant you an order of protection or the judge may order a new hearing date. You may want a lawyer for the hearing, especially if you think the abuser will have one. For free and paid lawyers, go to our MO Finding a Lawyer page.