Can a minor get an order of protection?
A minor can get an order of protection but cannot file on his/her own. Instead, the minor’s parent, guardian, guardian ad litem, court-appointed special advocate, or juvenile officer would have to file a petition for a child order of protection on the minor child’s behalf.1 A child order of protection is also called an “order of protection for a child.”
An order of protection for a child may be available to a minor who was the victim of:
- domestic violence by a present or former household member; or
- stalking or sexual assault by anyone.2
Note: Missouri law defines a “child” as someone who is under 17 and not emancipated.3 An “adult” is someone age 17 and older or a minor who is emancipated.4 However, the information about child orders of protection on the Missouri Courts website says that the order applies to anyone who is 17 or younger. Therefore, if a 17-year old wants to file for an order of protection on his/her own without a parent or guardian, s/he may want to bring a copy of the law defining an adult as someone 17 or older.
A minor may also be included on his/her parent’s petition for an order of protection if:
- the parent is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; and
- the minor is a child of both the petitioner and respondent.
Note: There are slight variations in the laws between orders of protection for a child mentioned in this question and the orders of protection for adults that are explained throughout this entire section of WomensLaw.org. To read the laws that specifically address orders of protection for a child, you can go to our Selected Missouri Statutes page and scroll down to the section called “Child Protection Orders,” beginning with section 455.500.
1 MO ST § 455.503(2)
2 MO ST § 455.505(1)
3 MO ST § 455.010(3)
4 MO ST § 455.010(2)