Peace & Protective Orders

Peace and protective orders are civil orders issued by a judge to prevent one person from committing certain acts against others.

The personal relationship between the "respondent" (person alleged to commit the prohibited act) and the victim (person to be protected) determines which kind of petition would be filed. Protective orders generally apply to people in domestic relationships. Peace orders apply to other relationships (dating, neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers). You cannot qualify for both; you must choose the one for which you would qualify.

Determining Type of Order

If you are filing the petition for yourself, do any of these apply to you?

  • I am the current or former spouse of the respondent
  • I have lived in an intimate relationship with the respondent for at least 90 days during the past year
  • I am related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • I am the parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent, and I have resided with the respondent for 90 days during the past year
  • I have a child with the respondent If you are filing the petition for a child or an adult who cannot provide for his or her own daily needs (a vulnerable adult), do either of these apply to you?
  • I am related to the minor child or vulnerable adult by blood, marriage or adoption
  • I reside in the same house with the minor child or vulnerable adult If you checked any boxes above, you would file for a protective order.

If they did not apply to you, you would file for a peace order.

Proving Actions

Once you determine the type of order for which you may qualify, you then must prove that one of the following acts occurred. Acts marked with an asterisk (*) are covered only by peace orders and not by protective orders.

  • An act that caused serious bodily harm
  • An act that placed the petitioner in fear of imminent bodily harm
  • Assault in any degree
  • Rape or sexual offense
  • Attempted rape or sexual offense
  • False imprisonment
  • Criminal stalking
  • Criminal harassment *
  • Criminal trespassing *
  • Malicious destruction of property *


How to apply for an order:

  • Step 1: Complete the correct petition. To print a copy of the form click here.
  • Step 2: File the petition
  • Step 3: Appear for a temporary hearing
  • Step 4: Appear for a final hearing
  • Step 5: Sheriffs Office serves the respondent