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Legal Information: Missouri

Restraining Orders

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November 14, 2019

Can a minor get an order of protection?

A minor can get an order but the minor cannot file on his/her own.1 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 (also called an “order of protection for a child”) on the minor child’s behalf.2 An order of protection for a child may be available to a child who has been subject to domestic violence by a present or former household member or for a child who has been stalked or sexually assaulted.3

Note: Missouri law defines a “child” as someone who is under 17 and an “adult” as someone age 17 and older (or a minor who is emancipated).1 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. 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 that defines an adult as someone 17 or older.

A minor may also be included on his/her parent’s petition for order of protection if the parent is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and the minor is a child of 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 See MO ST § 455.010(2)
2 MO ST § 455.503(2)
3 MO ST § 455.505(1)