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Missouri Protective Orders Laws

Note: If you or a family member are the victims of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or your local police department.

Protective orders are issued by courts, typically on a temporary basis, to protect vulnerable parties from potentially violent or otherwise unwanted visitors. For the most part, protective orders (also called "restraining orders") are granted when there are domestic disputes -- such as one party interfering with child custody, cases of child abuse, spousal abuse, or stalking.

Missouri protective order laws allow temporary orders for up to 15 days (10 days without notice) or as long as the court deems appropriate. Temporary protective orders may require the respondent (the person being restrained) to stay a certain distance away from the petitioner, to stay off a specified parcel of property, and to refrain from contacting the petitioner. This also applies to any children or dependants involved.

Full protective orders may last for a duration of between 180 days and one year, but may be renewed if the court approves the petition to do so.

Violation of an official protective order is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, unless the offender was convicted of the same offense in the past five years (charged as a Class D felony and punishable by a prison term).

The basics of Missouri's protective order laws are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for legal information and additional victim resources.

Code Section 455.01, et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order Temporarily enjoin contact; temporarily exclude from dwelling; regarding minors: temporary custody, visitation, support, counseling; court costs
Duration of Order Full order: min. 180 days to 1 yr., may be renewed for same amount of time
Penalty for a Violation of Order Class A misdemeanor unless convicted of same within 5 years: Class D felony
Who May Apply for Order Any adult who has been subject to abuse by present or former family or household member, or who has been the victim of stalking
Can Fees Be Waived? Yes, court costs assessment determined by the court
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement Copy to local law enforcement agency in jurisdiction where petitioner resides; copy for entry into Missouri uniform law enforcement system
Civil Liability for Violation of Order No

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Missouri domestic violence attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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