Am I eligible to file for a protective order?
You can seek legal protection from acts of domestic abuse committed by a current or former intimate partner or family or household member, which includes:
- a spouse or ex-spouse;
- someone with whom you have a biological child in common;
- someone you are dating or used to date;
- someone with whom you lived in an intimate way;1
- parents, grandparents, stepparents, adoptive parents, and foster parents;
- children, grandchildren, stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children; or
- anyone related to you by blood or marriage, regardless of whether you are living in the same household or not.2
Additionally, you may be able to petition for a protective order against someone who is not a family or household member if any of the following apply:
- if you are the immediate family member of a victim of first degree murder, you can file against the person who committed the murder; or
- if you are a victim of one of the following acts committed by anyone, regardless of your relationship to that person:
- forcible sodomy;
- a sex offense;
- child abuse;
- assault and battery with a deadly weapon;3 or
- any other crime – but this only applies to adult crime victims, not minors.4
If you are asking for a protective order against someone who is not a family or household member or someone you have dated, you are required to file a police report against this person before filing a petition with the district court. You will be required to give a copy of this report to the judge unless the police already provided it to the court directly.4
Minors who are 16 or 17 years old can file for an order themselves. A minor who is under 16 years old must have an adult family or household member file on his/her behalf.4
Note: If you are filing against a minor who is age 13 or older, you must file your petition in the local court that has power (jurisdiction) over juvenile matters.5
If you do not qualify for a domestic violence protective order, you may qualify for a stalking protective order or a victim protective order for violence by a non-intimate partner.
1 22 O.S. § 60.1(2), (6)
2 22 O.S. § 60.1(2), (3)
3 22 O.S. § 60.2(G)
4 22 O.S. § 60.2(A)
5 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 Oklahoma Finding a Lawyer 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 22 O.S. § 60.2(C)(1) & (2)
2 See 22 O.S. § 60.2(D)