Oklahoma Protective Orders
A protective order is a court issued stay-away and no-contact order to protect victims of domestic violence, harassment, or stalking. The purpose is not to punish the alleged abuser, but to protect the victim against imminent and future harm.
In Oklahoma, depending on the allegations and the type of relationship the abuser and the victim have, there are several types of orders the court can issue.
Domestic Violence Protective Orders involve family members, household members, or individuals who are or previously were in dating relationship. If you do not fall under one of these categories, you cannot file a domestic violence protective order. The only exception is when allegations of stalking are involved.
Protective Orders for stalking can be filed against anyone, even if you have no prior relationship to the stalker. However, you must first file a police report with your local law enforcement agency and bring a copy of it to court.
Emergency Protective Orders (EPO) are protective orders that can be obtained without the defendant being present. EPOs are heard by the judge the same day and are either granted or denied the day you file. EPOs are typically granted for only two weeks. After that, unless extended by the judge, the EPO will expire.
Where Do I File a Protective Order?
To get a protective order against someone, you will need to go to the county courthouse where either the domestic abuse occurred or where you or the defendant live. If you are a resident of Tulsa County, you can file a Protective Order at the Tulsa County Courthouse located at 500 S. Denver Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103.
What Forms Will I Need?
You will need to fill out a Petition for Protective Order and a Petition for Emergency Temporary Protective Order. The county court clerk’s office will have the necessary forms for you to fill out and file. Protective Order forms can also be found online.
What to Expect in Court
Emergency Protective Orders are initially heard in court without the defendant being present. If the judge grants your EPO, the defendant must be served with the papers before it becomes enforceable.
Protective Orders are set for hearing at a future date in order to give the defendant notice of the hearing and the allegations. On this date, the judge will decide whether to extend the emergency order, to grant a permanent protective order, or to dismiss the action.
On the day of hearing, you have a few options:
- You and the defendant can ask the judge to dismiss the action if no longer necessary;
- You and the defendant can ask the judge to continue the EPO for a certain period of time. For example, you may mutually agree to continue the EPO for one year and if no violations occur, the judge will dismiss the EPO; or
- The judge will hear testimony of you, the defendant, and witnesses to determine whether a protective order is needed. Both parties should be prepared to present any evidence supporting or defeating the need for protection such as text messages, pictures, police reports, etc. and bring witnesses to court on the day of hearing.
- If you already have a criminal case pending or you plan on filing for divorce or custody, you can also ask the judge to continue to EPO during the pendency of the other proceedings.
Do I Need a Lawyer if a Protective Order Has Been Filed Against Me?
Protective Orders have a domino effect. When someone files a protective order against you, they have made allegations that are now publicly available for anyone to read. Before you even have a chance to respond, the District Attorney may choose to file charges against you. Then, based on the same allegations, you may lose custody of your children and temporarily lose your home. Meanwhile, DHS may also get involved and ask you to give statements about the allegations. And these statements can and will be used against you in your criminal case.
Long story short, it is absolutely crucial that you seek legal advice from an attorney who has experience in handling domestic violence and protective order cases. Submit a free case evaluation online today to get started!