WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: North Dakota

Restraining Orders

View all
Updated: 
March 19, 2020

Am I eligible for a protection order?

You may be eligible for a domestic violence protection order if a family or household member commits an act of domestic violence or if you can prove that domestic violence that is about to happen (“imminent domestic violence”). For the purpose of getting a domestic violence protection order, “family or household member” means a:

  • spouse or former spouse;
  • parent;
  • child;
  • other family member;
  • person related by blood or marriage;
  • a person you are dating;
  • a person who is living with you or has lived with you before; or
  • someone with whom you have a child in common, even if you were never married or lived together.1

Note: The law says that you can file against “any other person” if the judge determines that the relationship between you and the abusive person is “sufficient to warrant the issuance of a domestic violence protection order.”2

1 N.D. Code § 14-07.1-01(4)
2 N.D. Code § 14-07.1-02(1)

Can I get a protection order against a same-sex partner?

In North Dakota, you may apply for a protection order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible for a protection order?  You must also be the victim of an act of domestic violence, which is explained here What is the legal definition of domestic violence in North Dakota?

You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.

How much does it cost to get a protection order? Do I need a lawyer?

There is no cost to file for a protection order or to have it served on the abuser.1

Although you do not need a lawyer to file, it may be in your best interest to get a lawyer, especially if the abuser is represented by one.  A domestic violence organization in your area may be able to refer you to an attorney or legal aid service that will take your case for free or at a reduced rate.  Go to our ND Finding a Lawyer page to find help in your area.

1 N.D. Code § 14-07.1-03(6)

If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.