Am I eligible to file for a protective order?
You can seek legal protection from acts of domestic abuse committed by a “family or household member” or by someone with whom you have a dating relationship. Specifically, you can seek protection from any of the following people:
- A spouse or ex-spouse;
- A present spouse of an ex-spouse (e.g., your ex-husband’s new wife);
- Parents, grandparents, stepparents, adoptive parents, and foster parents;
- Children, grandchildren, stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children;
- Anyone related to you by blood or marriage;
- Anyone with whom you live/lived;
- Someone with whom you have a biological child in common;1 or
- Someone you are dating or used to date.2
Note: Minors who are 16 or 17 years old can file for a protection order themselves. A minor who is under 16 years old must have an adult family or household member file on his/her behalf.3 A minor filing against an adult must file in a regular local court. Anyone filing against a minor (age 13 or older) must file in the local court that has jurisdiction (power) over juvenile matters.4
Note: If the abuser is not a “family or household member” as is defined above, you may be eligible for a stalking protection order. See Stalking Protective Orders for more information.
1 22 O.S. § 60.1(1),(4)
2 22 O.S. § 60.1(1),(5)
3 22 O.S. § 60.2(A)
4 22 O.S. § 60.2(A)(1)
Can I get a protective order against a same-sex partner?
In Oklahoma, you may apply for a protective order against a current or former same-sex partner as long as the relationship meets the requirements listed in Am I eligible to file for a protective order? You must also be the victim of an act of domestic abuse, harassment, stalking, or rape, which are explained here.
You can find information about LGBTQIA victims of abuse and what types of barriers they may face on our LGBTQIA Victims page.
In which county can I file for a protective order?
You can file a petition in the district court in the county where you live, in the county where the abuser lives, or in the county where the abuse took place.1 However, if you file for an ex parte order in one county, but there is a pending case for divorce, separate maintenance, guardianship, adoption or any other proceeding involving custody or visitation in a different county, the protective order case will be transferred and the hearing for the final protective order will be held in the same county in which the other case is pending.2
If you are being stalked and seeking a protection order against someone who is not a family or household member or an intimate (dating) partner, you must first file a complaint with law enforcement officials before filing the petition for a protective order in district court. (For the definition of a family or household member see Am I eligible to file for a protective order? ) You will have to provide the judge with a copy of the complaint you filed with the police at the full hearing for the protection order. If you do not present a copy of the complaint in court, your claim could be dismissed and you may be forced to pay the abuser’s attorney’s fees and/or other court fees.1
1 22 O.S. § 60.2(A)(1)
2 22 O.S. § 60.3(D)
How much does it cost to get a protective order? Do I need a lawyer?
Generally, there are no fees for filing for a protection order. However, if the judge finds that the order was filed for frivolous (invalid) reasons, s/he may order you (the petitioner) to pay court costs and/or the defendant’s attorney fees.1
You do not need a lawyer to file for a protection order. If you are filing on your own and you need help, you can ask the court clerk, victim-witness coordinator, victim support person, or a court case manager for assistance with filling out the forms.2 However, you may wish to have a lawyer represent you. Having a lawyer is especially important if the abuser has 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 on our OK Finding a Lawyer page.
1 22 O.S. § 60.2(C)(1) & (2)
2 See 22 O.S. § 60.2(D)
If you are going to be in court without a lawyer, our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section may be useful to you.