Get a court order to stop abuse. The Order of Protection Clinic provides free, emergency legal services to people who have experienced domestic violence.
What Is An Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is a court order that tells the person who is abusing you to stop the abuse. It can also tell the person to stop contacting you, to leave a home that you share, to stay away from your children, or a number of other things that might help keep you safe.
If you want an Order of Protection, you have to file court paperwork and speak to a judge. After you speak with the judge for the first time, the abuser will be notified by the sheriff that you are seeking the order.
How Can DVLC Help Me Get An Order of Protection?
Our Order of Protection Clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. until we reach capacity (as late as 1:30 p.m.) most days that the courthouse is open. Our staff can help you decide if an order of protection will help keep you safer. If we are able to take your case, we will prepare the court papers and represent you in court.
If you need immediate help, call 911.
What Else to Know Before Coming to Court:
Arrive As Early As You Can
The courthouse opens at 8:30 a.m. Filing for an order of protection can take several hours so it is best to arrive in the morning. DVLC closes intake at 1:30 p.m. or when we can no longer accept any more cases for the day.
Your children can come with you. The Domestic Violence Courthouse houses a Children’s Advocacy Center where your child can be cared for while you take care of legal business. If you have a baby or toddler, they can stay with you during the process. Since you will likely be at court for a few hours, you may want to bring supplies such as diapers and toys.
What to Bring
We are located inside a courthouse. Cell phones ARE allowed inside the courthouse. However, you may not bring a camera, tablet, laptop, mace, liquids, knives and many other items.
If you have evidence of abuse, including photos, texts, emails or medical records, bring them with you. It is also helpful to bring the best address you have for the abuser. If you file court paperwork, you will need to provide an address so that the sheriff can notify the abuser of the case after you speak with the judge the first time.
For more information on how to file an order of protection, click here.