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Legal Information: Puerto Rico

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of
November 25, 2023

Who can file for a protection from stalking order?

Any person who has been a victim of stalking (as defined by law) can file for a protection from stalking order on his/her own, through a legal representative or through a law enforcement officer.1 In addition, anyone can file on behalf of another person who is suffering from a mental or physical incapacity, in case of an emergency, or when the person is unable to file it on his/her own.2

If someone is stalked in his/her workplace, an employer can file on behalf of an employee if the employee has been a victim of stalking that occurred in or near the workplace. The employer has to notify the employee of his/her intention to file the order before filing it.3

1 33 L.P.R.A. § 4015(a)
2 33 L.P.R.A. § 4015(e)
3 33 L.P.R.A. § 4015 (b)

What are the steps to get a protection from stalking order?

Getting a protection from stalking order can begin in one of the following ways:

  • through a verbal or written petition;
  • within any pending case between the parties; or
  • by the prosecutor in a criminal proceeding or as a condition of a suspended sentence or probation.1

You can find the forms that you will need to file in the clerk’s office. The clerk can provide you with the necessary help and direction to fill out and file the forms.2 The rest of the steps to get a protection from stalking order are similar to the steps to get an order of protection for victims of domestic violence.

1 33 L.P.R.A. § 4016(a)
2 33 L.P.R.A. § 4016(b)

If I share a cell phone account with the abuser, can I transfer the account into my name?

If you have been given a stalking protection order, you can ask the judge to give you an order to change the responsibility and control of a telephone number (“Orden de Cambio de Responsabilidad y Control sobre Número Telefónico”). This document will order the cell phone company to transfer into your name, at no additional cost, the responsibility, control, and a change of the phone number (if you wish). You can also make the same changes and transfers for the phone numbers of any minors in your custody and request that all personal information be removed from any directory or listing at no additional cost. You will have 30 days from being given the order to make these changes.1

1 8 L.P.R.A. § 640a

What happens if the abuser violates the order?

An intentional violation of a protection from stalking order can be contempt of court, which is a misdemeanor crime, and can result in jail time, a fine, or both. In addition, s/he can be charged with stalking or whatever other crime may be committed during the violation of the order.1

1 33 L.P.R.A. § 4020; see also 33 L.P.R.A. § 4021