36-3-617. Protection orders; assistance in completion of petition forms; court costs
(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no domestic abuse victim, stalking victim or sexual assault victim shall be required to bear the costs, including any court costs, filing fees, litigation taxes or any other costs associated with the filing, issuance, registration, service, dismissal or nonsuit, appeal or enforcement of an ex parte order of protection, order of protection, or a petition for either such order, whether issued inside or outside the state. If the court, after the hearing on the petition, issues or extends an order of protection, all court costs, filing fees, litigation taxes and attorney fees shall be assessed against the respondent.
(2) If the court does not issue or extend an order of protection, the court may assess all court costs, filing fees, litigation taxes and attorney fees against the petitioner if the court makes the following finding by clear and convincing evidence:
(A) The petitioner is not a domestic abuse victim, stalking victim or sexual assault victim and that such determination is not based on the fact that the petitioner requested that the petition be dismissed, failed to attend the hearing or incorrectly filled out the petition; and
(B) The petitioner knew that the allegation of domestic abuse, stalking, or sexual assault was false at the time the petition was filed.
(b)(1) The clerk of the court may provide order of protection petition forms to agencies that provide domestic violence assistance.
(2) Any agency that meets with a victim in person and recommends that an order of protection be sought shall assist the victim in the completion of the form petition for filing with the clerk.
(3) No agency shall be required to provide this assistance unless it has been provided with the appropriate forms by the clerk.