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Legal Information: West Virginia

Restraining Orders

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August 4, 2020

What is the definition of a family or household member?

For the purpose of getting a protective order, a family or household member is defined as:

  1. your spouse or ex-spouse;
  2. someone with whom who you live(d) “as a spouse;”
  3. someone who lived in the same household as you;
  4. a sexual partner or intimate partner;
  5. someone who you are dating or used to date;
  6. someone with whom you have a child in common (even if you never lived together);
  7. your parent or step-parent;
  8. your sibling, step-sibling, or half-sibling;
  9. your father-in-law, mother-in-law, step-father-in-law, or step-mother-in-law;
  10. your child or stepchild;
  11. your daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepdaughter-in-law, or stepson-in-law;
  12. your grandparent or step-grandparent;
  13. your aunt, aunt-in-law, or step-aunt;
  14. uncle, uncle-in-law, or step-uncle;
  15. your niece or nephew; or
  16. your first or second cousin.1

Note: If your relationship to the abuser is that you are a family member (as described in #7-16) of the abuser’s spouse, partner, etc. (as described in #1-6), you can still qualify for an order.1 Here are a few examples:

  • you can file against your boyfriend’s step-father who attempted to sexually abuse you;
  • you can file against against the niece of your former sexual partner who is threatening you;
  • you can file against the first cousin of your baby’s mother who is stalking you; or
  • you can file against the brother of someone with whom you lived who sexually assaulted you.

If you are being abused by someone with whom who you do not have of the above relationships, you may qualify for a personal safety order.

1 W. Va. Code § 48-27-204