20-4-40. Petition for order of protection.
There is created an action known as a “Petition for an Order of Protection” in cases of abuse to a household member.
(a) A petition for relief under this section may be made by any household members in need of protection or by any household members on behalf of minor household members.
(b) A petition for relief must allege the existence of abuse to a household member. It must state the specific time, place, details of the abuse, and other facts and circumstances upon which relief is sought and must be verified.
(c) The petition must inform the respondent of the right to retain counsel.
(d) In a pending action for divorce or separate support and maintenance, the petition for relief shall be brought in the form of a motion for further relief and shall be served on counsel of record, if any. Where no action is pending, the petition shall be filed and served as an independent action. A pending motion or petition for relief shall not be dismissed solely because the underlying action is dismissed.
(e) The clerk of court must provide simplified forms which will facilitate the preparation and filing of a petition under this section by any person not represented by counsel, including motions and affidavits to proceed in forma pauperis.
(f) The clerk of court may not charge a fee for filing a petition for an order for protection from domestic abuse.