How do I get my protection order enforced in another state?
Federal law does not require you to take any special steps to get your protection order enforced in another state.
Many states do have laws or regulations (rules) about registering or filing of out-of-state orders, which can make enforcement easier, but a valid protection order is enforceable regardless of whether it has been registered or filed in the new state.1 Rules differ from state to state, so it may be helpful to find out what the rules are in your new state. You can contact a local domestic violence organization for more information by visiting our Advocates and Shelters page and entering your new state in the drop-down menu.
1 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(2)
Do I need a special copy of my protection order to it enforced?
In some states, you will need a certified copy of your protection order. A certified copy says that it is a “true and correct” copy; it is signed and initialed by the clerk of court that gave you the order, and usually has some kind of court stamp on it. In Nebraska, a certified order usually has a paper attached to the back with a stamp and the signature of a court official on it. It might also have a raised seal on it.
When the judge issues you an ex parte or final protection order, the clerk of the court will give you two certified copies of the order for free.1
Note: It is a good idea to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. You will also want to bring several copies of the order with you when you move. Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on. Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work. Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in and protected by the order.
1 NE R.S. § 42-926(1)
Can I get someone to help me? Do I need a lawyer?
You do not need a lawyer to get your protection order enforced in another state. However, you may want to get help from a local domestic violence advocate or attorney in the state that you move to. A domestic violence advocate may be able help you through the process. To find a domestic violence advocate or an attorney in the state you are moving to, select your state from the Places that Help tab on the top of this page.
Do I need to tell the court in Nebraska if I move?
Maybe. The court needs to have an up-to-date address for you in order to communicate with you if anything happens to your protection order - for example, if the abuser asks the court to dismiss the order or if your order is changed in any way. The court will only communicate with you by mail. If they do not have an up to date address for you, you may miss some of these notices.
If you provide your new address to the court, you can ask that it be kept confidential. It will be kept in a confidential part of your file, and the public will not have access to it. However, your new address could possibly be released to court officials in your new state or law enforcement officials in either Nebraska or your new state. If you feel nervous about giving your address to the court, ask the clerk about applying for a substitute address with the Nebraska Secretary of State. You can have mail forwarded to your new address through the Secretary of State, and they won’t disclose your information.1
1 NE ST § 42-1204(1)