Step 5: Service of process
In order for your protective order to be valid, the abuser must be given papers that tell him/her about the hearing date and your emergency temporary or ex parte order if the judge gave you one. If you are not able to have him/her served before your hearing date, if the sheriff can’t find him/her, for example, you can ask the judge to postpone the hearing and issue a new order until the next hearing date.1 The judge is not supposed to dismiss your order just because the abuser wasn’t served yet.2
After you file for your order, the court will send copies of any protective orders and notices of hearing to the police or sheriff for service on the abuser.3 Do not try and serve the abuser in person with the papers yourself.
You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?
1 22.O.S. § 60.4(B)(3)
2 22 O.S. § 60.4(B)(5)
3 22 O.S. § 60.4(A)(1)