Can the abuser find out that I am in South Dakota if I register my protection order?
Yes. In South Dakota, when a protection order is registered, the respondent (the abuser) may be given a certified copy of your registered order, which means s/he will know that you have registered the order in South Dakota. In addition, your address may be listed on the registered order as a location the abuser is ordered to stay away from. You may want to request that your address not be listed on the order or the affidavit form. However, it will still be clear that you are in South Dakota, even if your address is not listed.
The court should not give out any of your personal information over the phone, so the abuser cannot call the court and get your current address. The abuser may have access to your file, however, so it is important to communicate with the clerk of court to make sure that your address is not listed anywhere in your public file.
Remember: Whether you register your order or not, there is always a possibility that the abuser could 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 your abuser is living. We have some safety planning tips to get you started on our Safety Tips 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 SD Places that Help page.