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A Brief Q&A on Arkansas Protective Orders

At OMG, we receive several questions about protective orders. In this blog, we’ve outlined some of the most common questions and our answers to them. 

1. What is an Order of Protection?

A Protection Order is civil court order for a victim of domestic violence that is signed by a judge. The protection order is designed to prevent an abuser from harassing, threatening, stalking or committing violent acts against their victim.

2. What can an Order of Protection accomplish?

An order of protection can keep the abuser away from your home, work, church, school, or any other address you often go to and want protection from. If you live together, an order can make your abuser move out of the house. An order can also stop an abuser from harming or harassing you.

3. Who can dismiss an Order of Protection?

The judge issuing the Protection Order will usually decide whether it can be dismissed or modified. However, the judges are generally okay with another judge in the district revising it as necessary, or dismissing after a brief hearing.

4. What is a temporary protection order?

A temporary protection order is also referred to as an ex parte protection order. This is an emergency order to provide immediate protection from your abuser for you and/or your family.

5. How long are temporary protection orders effective?

A temporary order of protection shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 30 days. No later than 30 days after the issuance of the temporary order, a hearing shall be held.

6. What is a permanent order of protection?

A permanent order provides the same protection as a temporary order but lasts for a definite period of time. Only after a full court hearing can the permanent order be issued and can last anywhere from 90 days to 10 years.

7. Who can get an order of protection?

  • Any adult family or household member on behalf of himself or herself;
  • Any adult family or household member on behalf of another family or household member who is a minor, including a married minor;
  • Any adult family or household member on behalf of another family or household member who has been adjudicated an incompetent; or
  • An employee or volunteer of a domestic-violence shelter or program on behalf of a minor, including a married minor.

8. What county can I file an order of protection?

  • The county in which you live (including temporarily staying in a shelter for domestic violence); 
  • The county in which the abuse occurred; or 
  • The county where the abuser may be served.

9. How can I get an order of protection?

  • Complete a request for a protection order and an affidavit. Recent physical harm must have occured, or physical harm must be threatened. 
  • You’re going to need identification and an address to serve the person. It can be the address of a home, work, or relative that the person is residing with.
  • The office of the clerk will submit the petition for review to the judge. The judge will read the petition and determine if a temporary protection order should be granted or denied. 
  • If the judge believes that you are in immediate danger, an Ex Parte (temporary protection order) will be granted. Once the abuser is served, the temporary order will come into effect. 
  • Within the next 30 days, the judge will schedule a court hearing to determine if you should receive a permanent protection order. 
  • Once the Clerk’s office receives the paperwork from the judge, you, the petitioner, will receive a copy for your records and a copy will be delivered to the local sheriff’s office to serve the abuser. 
  • The hearing gives you and your abuser the opportunity to tell each side of the story and provide the judge with evidence. On the date of your hearing, the temporary order expires. If you are unable to attend court, you must immediately contact the office of the Circuit Clerk. 

Contact a Lawyer

If you or anyone you know has been abused, seek help from a lawyer right away. Call our law firm to discuss how we can help you.

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OMG Law Firm

At the OMG Law Firm, we take pride in our client-focused approach — the people who walk through our doors are more than just clients to us. They are families going through difficult changes, business owners in search of more room to grow, and injured workers looking to plan out the next stages of their lives.

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