Who is eligible for a dating violence protective order?
You can file for a dating violence protective order if you are a victim of abuse or dating violence by a “dating partner.”1 A dating partner is someone who:
- is at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor; and
- is in a dating relationship with you.2
You do not have to have taken any steps to end the relationship before filing for a dating violence protective order.3 If you and the abuser are married, were previously married, have a child together, or currently or previously lived together, you are not eligible for a dating violence protective order but may be eligible for a cohabitant abuse protective order.4
1 UT ST § 78B-7-403(1)
2 UT ST § 78B-7-102(10)(a)
3 UT ST § 78B-7-403(2)
4 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32); UT ST § 78B-7-403(6)
Where can I file for a dating violence protective order?
You can file for a dating violence protective order in district court. The district court judge will decide whether or not to grant you a temporary (ex parte) order based on the facts of your case.1
If the district court judge does not grant you a temporary (ex parte) order and you still want a dating violence protective order, your case will still be scheduled for a hearing and the abuser will be served with notice unless your case is dismissed. You will have a chance to prove that you need the order at a hearing.2
1 See UT ST § 78B-7-403
2 UT ST § 78B-7-405(3)
What are the steps for getting a dating violence protective order?
The steps to get a dating violence protective order are similar to the steps to get a cohabitant abuse protective order, but you may fill out different paperwork. The court clerk will provide you with the forms you need and with non-legal help filling them out. You can find the contact information for your clerk on the UT Courthouse Locations page. You can also download court forms on our UT Download Court Forms page.
Can two people have protective orders against each other (mutual orders)?
When two people have protective orders issued against each other, this is often referred to as “mutual orders.” A court can only grant mutual orders if each person:
- files an independent petition against the other for a protective order, and both petitions are served (in other words, if only one person files a petition, a judge can’t decide to issue mutual orders as a result of that one petition);
- proves at a hearing that the other person committed abuse or dating violence; and
- proves that the abuse or dating violence committed by the other person was not self-defense.1
However, if the person filing for a protective order is already the respondent (or criminal defendant) on an existing cohabitant abuse or dating violence protective order (from Utah or another state), a child protective order, or ex parte child protective order, the following additional restrictions apply before the order can be issued:
- the case must be heard in the same court that issued the existing protective order; or
- if the case is being heard in a different court, the judge must:
- determine that it would be impractical for the original court to hear the case; or
- contact the court that issued the original protective order to discuss the matter.2
1 UT ST § 78B–7–409(1)
2 UT ST § 78B–7–409(3)
Can a dating violence protective order be extended?
To extend your dating violence protective order, you have to file a motion to extend before your order expires. You will have to prove one of the following to the judge at a hearing:
- there is a substantial likelihood the abuser will commit dating violence against you;
- the respondent committed a violation of the dating violence protective order;
- the respondent was convicted of a violation of the dating violence protective order;
- the respondent committed dating violence after the protective order was issued; or
- the respondent was convicted of dating violence after the order was issued.1
1 UT ST § 78B-7-405(4)(a)