How much does it cost to get a protective order? Do I need a lawyer?
There is no filing fee to get a protective order assuming that you eventually prove to the judge that you have been abused and the judge grants you the order. If the court finds that you are entitled to an order protecting you from abuse, the judge can order the respondent to pay all costs including your attorney’s fees. However, if the judge finds that your allegations are untrue and that you are not a victim of abuse, the judge can possibly order you to pay the costs including the respondent’s attorney’s fees.1
Although you do not need a lawyer to file for a protective order, it may be to your advantage to find a lawyer. This is especially important if your abuser has obtained a lawyer. Even if your abuser does not have a lawyer, if you can, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer to make sure that your legal rights are protected.
If you cannot afford a lawyer but want one to help you with your case, you can find information on legal assistance and domestic violence organizations on the MS Places that Help page. Domestic violence organizations in your area and/or court staff may be able to answer some of your questions or help you fill out the necessary court forms. You will find contact information for courthouses on the MS 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 MS Code § 93-21-7(3)