For Emergency Assistance, call 911!
Order of Protection
If you are being physically abused or threatened by someone you live with, a family member, a former spouse or someone you formerly lived with, you may want to get an Order of Protection from the Circuit Court.
An Order of Protection can:
- Order your abuser to stay away from you. If he violates the order, the police can arrest him without having to get a warrant.
- Make your abuser move out if you are living together.
How do I get an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is issued by the Circuit Court, when a judge finds that a Petitioner has been threatened or harmed by a Respondent and is in immediate and present danger of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse means: Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault between family or household members; or any sexual conduct between family or household members, whether minors, or adults which constitutes a crime under the laws of this state.
The relationship between the parties (Petitioner and Respondent) must be family or household members. This requirement is met when the parties are:
- Spouses (present or former)
- Parent and child
- Reside together or cohabitate (currently or formerly)
- Blood relatives
- Have or had a child or children in common
A family or household member may petition on behalf of another family or household member who is a minor or who has been adjudicated incompetent. Also, the Petitioner and Respondent must each be age 18 or emancipated.
If you have recently been a victim of domestic violence and need immediate protection, you may qualify for an Order of Protection. There are no costs to initially file for the Order. Costs may be incurred if you fail to show up for your Court date or decide to dismiss your Order at the time of your hearing. In addition, if after the hearing you decide to dismiss the Order, you may also be assessed court costs.
To obtain an Order of Protection, call 479.783.8976 to schedule an appointment at the Prosecutor’s Office. The Office is located at 901 South B Street, Suite 208, Fort Smith, Arkansas.
To obtain an Order of Protection, you must read the Order of Protection Instructions - pdf and complete the Petition Form.-pdf For quicker assistance, please print and complete the Form before arriving at the Prosecutor’s Office.
Additionally, you are encouraged to use the Sample Safety Plan-pdf as a tool to help protect yourself.