Protective orders provide some legal protection for those suffering from domestic violence. There are also protective orders for victims of sexual assault and stalking. Once a protective order has been filed against someone, they can face criminal charges if they violate it.
Who Can File for A Protection from Abuse Order?
A Protection from Abuse (PFA) order is a protective order for those suffering abuse from partners or those who live in their household. The party filing the order must have one of the following relationships or living arrangements with the person they are filing against:
- A current or past social dating or romantic relationship
- Parties are living together or have lived together in the past
- Parties have a child together
An adult can also file a restraining order on behalf of someone they are living with under the age of 18.
In addition to having this close relationship, abuse must have occurred. This means that the person being filed against has:
- Physically hurt the person filing or a child on purpose
- Tried to physically hurt the petitioner or a child
- Threatened to physically hurt the petitioner or a child
- Engaged in sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 16
Types of Protection from Abuse Orders
There are three types of PFA orders in Kansas.
- Emergency PFA Order
A police officer can provide an emergency PFA order when a person needs protection from an immediate threat. There is a judge available 24/7 to issue an emergency order. This order is issued if the person or their minor child is under immediate and present threat. These orders last until the end of the next business day when the courthouse closes. This is supposed to provide the person time to get a temporary and/or final PFA order.
- Temporary PFA Order
A person can file for a temporary PFA order while they are filing for a final PFA order. The temporary PFA order provides protection from the day of filing until the hearing to determine if a final PFA order should be filed. When someone files for a temporary PFA, they can be granted protection immediately and without providing notice to the other party if the judge believes they are in immediate danger. The temporary order lasts until the hearing or about 21 days.
- Final PFA Order
During the hearing for the final PFA order, the judge will hear both the party filing for the protective order and the person being filed against. After hearing testimony and evidence from both parties, the judge will decide whether or not to issue a final PFA order. If granted, the order will last up to 1 year. The order can be granted for longer, up to the person’s lifetime, if the petitioner can prove that the alleged abuser violated an existing protective order or committed certain types of felonies.
What Protections Does a PFA Provide?
If the judge grants the protective order, it will have certain constraints and protections. The exact parameters of a protective order depend on the discretion of the judge and the unique situation. A PFA order may include:
- Prohibiting the other party from contacting or bothering the petitioner or the petitioner’s children
- Order the other party to stay a certain distance from the petitioner’s home, school, or work
- Order the other party to leave a home they share with the petitioner
- Order the other party to pay temporary spousal and/or child support
- Determine the possession of personal property
- Order the other party to pay the petitioner’s legal fees or vice versa
- Create a temporary custody plan for children
A PFA order will have any other protections that the judge deems necessary to protect the petitioner and their children.
Protective Order Against Stalking
In cases of stalking or sexual assault where the offending party does not fit the definition of a partner or household member, someone can file a Protection from Stalking or Sexual Assault (PFS) order. This orders a person who is stalking another person to stop and provides protection for those who have suffered sexual assault. There are additional restraining orders for other types of behavior.
Q: Do You Have to Go to Court for a Restraining Order in Kansas?
A: You do not have to go to court to file for a protective or restraining order. You can file a protective order in court or online through the Kansas Protection Order Portal. However, you do have to go to court for the hearing. It can be easier to work with an attorney if you are worried about advocating for your need for a protective order at the hearing.
Q: How Does a No Contact Order Work in Kansas?
A: A No Contact order is part of a criminal case, while a protective order is part of a civil case. A no contact order may be issued if a person who has not been sentenced is out on bail or if a convicted person is sentenced to probation. These orders are generally valid until sentencing or successful completion of probation. No contact may also be a parameter of a civil protective order, ordering the person who has been filed against to not have contact with the person who filed against them.
Q: What Is Considered Harassment in Kansas?
A: The legal definition of harassment means that a person knowingly and intentionally engages in certain conduct towards a specific person. This conduct causes serious alarm or annoyance or torments or terrorizes the person, and there is no legitimate purpose. This conduct must be two or more occurrences over any period of time that shows a clear purpose and would cause any reasonable person distress.
Q: Does a PFA Show Up on a Background Check in Kansas?
A: A Protection from Abuse (PFA) order is a civil order, not a criminal conviction. It does not show up in criminal background checks, whether it is a temporary or final PFA order. However, violating a PFA order will lead to criminal charges such as criminal contempt of court, which will appear on a background check.
Get the Protection You Need
No one should have to deal with domestic abuse or violence. If you need to file a protective order against someone, contact Stange Law Firm. We want to help you get the protection you need quickly and discreetly.