Obtaining a Victim Protective Order
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Oklahoma Victim Protective Orders:
Victim Protective Orders are available to people who have been physically abused or threatened with imminent physical harm by a family or household member. This includes spouses, ex-spouses, a current or previous dating or sexual relationship, present spouses of ex-spouses, parents, children, people related by blood or marriage, people who live together or used to live together, and people who are the biological parents of a child. If you file for a protective order against a family or household member, no police report is required.
You may also apply for a protective order if you have been sexually abused, stalked or harassed by someone who either is or is not a family or household member. Stalking means that a person is willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following you which causes you to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, or harassed. Harassment means that someone is doing something to you or someone in your family that causes you distress. This can include following you, sending or leaving things at your home or workplace or calling you. If you apply for a protective order for any of these reasons against someone who is not a family or household member, you must file a police report.
Filing a Victim Protective Order is considered a flashpoint. Flashpoints are things that may lead to increased violence and risk. Flashpoints are important to understand and victims are encouraged to safety plan around times of flashpoints that they may experience. Safety planning tips can be found here (link safety planning tips from purple ribbon site) or by calling the Oklahoma SafeLine at 800-522-SAFE (7233)
This video helps explain the Victim’s Protective Order process:
- VPO: Victim Protective Order
- Petitioner or plaintiff: The person who is seeking protection and filing the VPO
- Defendant or respondent: The person who the petitioner is seeking protection from; the individual that the VPO is filed against
What is a Victim Protective Order (VPO)?
- A VPO is a civil court order designed to protect a victim and/or their child(ren) and pet(s) from abuse, stalking, or harassment from an abuser.
- A VPO can order the abuser to stop abusing, harassing, threatening or stalking the victim.
What does a VPO not do?
- A VPO does not decide custody or visitation of minor children.
- A VPO does not determine who property is awarded to.
Who can file a VPO?
- VPOs are available to people who have been abused by a family or household member.
- VPOs are also available to people who are experiencing stalking and/or harassment.
- Anyone 16 years or older can file a VPO. A parent can also file for a VPO on behalf or a minor child.
How much does it cost to file a VPO?
- There is no fee to file a protective order.
- Court costs are usually assigned to the defendant.
- If the petitioner dismisses the VPO or does not show up to court, they may be ordered to pay the court costs.
What do I need to file a VPO?
- The forms to file a VPO.
- Defendant’s first and last name, and an address for them to be served.
Where can I file a VPO?
- The petitioner can file a VPO in the county they live in, in the county where the defendant lives, or in the county where the abuse occurred.
- Obtain VPO paperwork and file the VPO at your county courthouse. Local domestic violence service providers may also have the paperwork.
- If you need help filling out the paperwork, your local domestic violence service provider may be able to help.
- If after hours, you can call or text 911 and request an emergency protective order.
What happens after I file a VPO?
- A court date will be provided to you for a final protective order hearing.
- Respondent will be served and will also receive a copy of the protective order you filed; they will also be notified of the court date.
- You and the respondent should present to the court hearing at the courthouse on the date and time set.
- It is important to attend the hearing so that a final decision can be made by the judge.
Do I need an attorney?
- You do not need an attorney for the court date. However, you can explore legal options including a private attorney or contacting your local Legal Aid of Oklahoma Services.
What do I do at court?
- Bring any evidence you may have including photographs or recordings of incidents you included in the petition, police reports, medical records, etc.
- Take an advocate or friend to court with you to provide emotional support
- Request a police or sheriff escort to/from the courtroom and/or parking area
What do I do once I have a final protective order?
- Keep a copy of the protective order on any parties protected by the order.
- Inform and provide copies of the order to work, school, or apartment complex.
What do I do if a VPO is violated?
- You can call the police to report the violation.
- If the violation is pursued by the district attorney’s office, the first violation is a misdemeanor and any other violations are felony charges.
- The petitioner cannot violate their own VPO.
Is my VPO valid if I move out of state?
- Yes! Your VPO is enforceable in any state or tribal land that you move to or live in.
- You don’t have to register your VPO if you move, but it’s a good idea to inform local law enforcement about your VPO.
24-hour Oklahoma State Safeline:
1-800-522-SAFE (7233) - Call or text!