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Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 25, 2023

Will the abuser be notified if I register my protection order in Puerto Rico?

Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which applies to all U.S. states and territories, the court is not permitted to notify the abuser when a protective order has been registered or filed in a new state unless you specifically request that the abuser be notified.1

Puerto Rico will not notify the abuser if you register your protection order. Under the 221 law of August 9, 2008, the Criminal Justice Information System creates a registry of substitute addresses that can be offered to victims as a residential address so they can keep their current address confidential.

However, remember that there may be a possibility that the abuser could somehow find out what state you have moved to. It is important to continue to safety plan, even if you are no longer in the state where the abuser is living. We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Planning page. You can also contact a local domestic violence organization to get help in developing a personalized safety plan. You will find contact information for organizations in your area on our PR Advocates and Shelters page.

1 18 USC § 2265(d)