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Legal Information: Utah

Restraining Orders

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November 19, 2020

Who is eligible for a sexual violence protective order?

You can only file a petition for a sexual violence protective order if the person who committed sexual violence against you is:

  • not someone you have been in a relationship with (“dating partner”); and
  • not a family or household member (“cohabitant”), which is defined as:
    • a spouse or former spouse;
    • someone with whom you were living as if s/he were your spouse;
    • your relative (parent, grandparent, sibling, etc.);
    • someone with whom you have a child in common, or who is the parent of your unborn child;
    • a person who resides in the same house as you; or
    • someone with whom you are or were in a consensual sexual relationship.2

The law says that a person cannot seek a sexual violence protective order on behalf of a child.3 If a child has experienced abuse, the child might be eligible for a Child Protective Order.

1 UT ST § 78B-7-503(1)(a)
2 UT ST § 78B-7-502(2)
3 UT ST § 78B-7-503(1)(b)

How much does it cost to get a sexual violence protective order?

There is no fee to file for a sexual violence protective order and there is no fee to have the order served on the respondent.1

1 UT ST § 78B-7-507(1)

Do I need an attorney to get a sexual violence protective order?

You do not need a lawyer to get a sexual violence protective order, but it is often better to have one. If you do not have a lawyer, the court clerk, or an agency designated by the clerk, will provide you with forms and information regarding sexual violence protective orders.1 It may be in your interest to get an attorney, especially if you think the abuser will be represented by one. You may be able to find an attorney on our UT Finding a Lawyer page.

1 UT ST § 78B-7-507(3)

What can I do if the abuser violates the sexual violence protective order?

If you believe the abuser has violated the order, you can call the police, if that is a safe option for you. If the abuser has been served with a copy of the sexual violence protective order and violates the order, the police can immediately arrest him/her.1 Violation of a sexual violence protective order is a class A misdemeanor.2 A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail,3 a fine of up to $2,500,4 or both.

You can also file a motion in the court that issued the order to ask that the abuser be held in contempt of court, which basically means that you are asking that s/he be punished for violating the court order. The judge will review your motion and decide whether or not there will be a hearing. If there is a hearing, you would present evidence about how the abuser violated the order, the abuser would present his/her defense, and the judge would decide whether the order was violated and what punishment should be given to the abuser.

1 UT ST § 78B-7-508(1)
2 UT ST § 78B-7-508(2)
3 UT ST § 76-3-204(1)
4 UT ST § 76-3-301