16-3-1750. Action seeking a restraining order against a person engaged in harassment or stalking; jurisdiction and venue; forms; enforceability.
(A) Pursuant to this article, the magistrates court has jurisdiction over an action seeking a restraining order against a person engaged in harassment in the first or second degree or stalking.
(B) An action for a restraining order must be filed in the county in which:
(1) the defendant resides when the action commences;
(2) the harassment in the first or second degree or stalking occurred; or
(3) the plaintiff resides if the defendant is a nonresident of the State or cannot be found.
(C) A complaint and motion for a restraining order may be filed by any person. The complaint must:
(1) allege that the defendant is engaged in harassment in the first or second degree or stalking and must state the time, place, and manner of the acts complained of, and other facts and circumstances upon which relief is sought;
(2) be verified; and
(3) inform the defendant of his right to retain counsel to represent him at the hearing on the complaint.
(D) The magistrates court must provide forms to facilitate the preparation and filing of a complaint and motion for a restraining order by a plaintiff not represented by counsel. The court must not charge a fee for filing a complaint and motion for a restraining order against a person engaged in harassment or stalking. However, the court shall assess a filing fee against the nonprevailing party in an action for a restraining order. The court may hold a person in contempt of court for failure to pay this filing fee.
(E) A restraining order remains in effect for a fixed period of time of not less than one year, as determined by the court on a case-by-case basis.
(F) Notwithstanding another provision of law, a restraining order or a temporary restraining order issued pursuant to this article is enforceable throughout this State.