Can I get my protection order from South Dakota enforced in another state?
Yes. If you have a valid South Dakota protection order that meets federal standards, it can be enforced in another state. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is a federal law, states that all valid protection orders granted in the United States receive “full faith and credit” in all state and tribal courts within the US, including US territories. See “How do I know if my protection order is good under federal law?” to find out if your protection order qualifies.
Each state must enforce out-of-state protection orders in the same way it enforces its own orders. If the abuser violates your out-of-state protection order, s/he will be punished according to the laws of whatever state you are in when the order is violated. This is what is meant by “full faith and credit.”
How do I know if my protection order is good under federal law?
A protection order is good anywhere in the United States as long as:
- It was issued to prevent violent, threatening, or harassing behavior against another person, or it was issued to forbid contact or communication with another person.
- The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case).
- The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story.
- In the case of ex parte and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to tell his/her side of the story at a hearing that is scheduled before the temporary order expires.1
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.
1 18 USC § 2265
I have a temporary order. Can it be enforced in another state?
Yes. Temporary orders can be enforced by other states, just like any regular protection order, as long as the abuser has been served and will have the opportunity to have a court hearing set before your temporary order expires.
Note: The state where you are going cannot extend your temporary order, or issue you a permanent order when the temporary one expires. If you need to extend your temporary order, you will have to contact the court that issued the order and arrange to be at the hearing in person or by telephone. In South Dakota, you can make a request (in writing) to the judge to attend the hearing by telephone. It will be up to the judge to decide whether or not to allow this.