HOW TO SEEK AN EX PARTE ORDER OF PROTECTION
WHERE TO GO
- Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on non holidays, go to the Taney County Circuit Clerk’s Office, which is on the 2nd floor of the Taney County Judicial Center located at 266 Main Street, Forsyth, Missouri, 65653.
- Monday through Friday after 5:00 p.m., weekends, and holidays, go to the Taney County Sheriff’s Office, which is also located at 266 Main Street in Forsyth, just down the sidewalk from the courthouse.
- A clerk or deputy will give you a petition to fill out, depending on which location you go to. Fill out the forms while you are at the clerk’s office or sheriff’s department and return the forms to the clerk or deputy so they can start the process of seeking the ex parte order of protection from the judge.
- You must fill out the petition yourself and the petition must be signed by you affirming that the facts written in the petition are true according to the best of your knowledge. You cannot send a family member, friend, or anyone else to fill out the petition for you.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO BRING WITH YOU
Respondent’s (person you want to leave you alone, person you are seeking order of protection against)
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Place of Employment
- Vehicle make, model, and license plate
Not all of the information listed above is required to obtain an ex parte order of protection. However, in order for the sheriff to serve the respondent with the ex parte order, the sheriff has to be able to locate the respondent. The more information you bring with you, the more likely the sheriff’s office will be able to serve the ex parte order of protection on the respondent. If the respondent is not served, a full order of protection cannot be granted.
TWO TYPES OF EX PARTE ORDERS OF PROTECTION
1 ) EX PARTE ORDER BASED ON RELATIONSHIP AND ABUSE
You must be a “family or household member” of the Respondent. The following qualify you as a family or household member:
- Former spouses
- Adults related by blood or marriage
- Adults who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past
- Adults who are currently or have previously been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature
- Adults who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time
Includes, but is not limited to, the occurrence of any of the following acts, attempts, or threats against a person who may be protected pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085:
(a) “Assault” – purposely or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, another in fear of physical harm;
(b) “Battery” – purposely or knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon;
(c) “Coercion” – compelling another by force or threat of force (1) to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain, or (2) to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;
(d) “Harassment” – engaging in a purposeful or knowing course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to another adult and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable adult to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to Petitioner. Such conduct might include, but is not limited to:
a. Following another about in a public place or places;
b. Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of another (does not include constitutionally protected activity)
(e) “Sexual assault” – causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, or duress;
(f) “Unlawful imprisonment” – holding, confining, detaining, or abducting another person against that person’s will;
2) EX PARTE ORDER BASED ON STALKING
If you are seeking an ex parte order based on stalking make sure to mark it on the Petition that the clerk or deputy gives you to fill out.
You do NOT have to be in an intimate relationship, live together, or have a child in common to seek an ex parte order of protection based on stalking.
“Stalking” is when an adult purposely and repeatedly engages in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person when it is reasonable in that person’s situation to have been alarmed by the conduct. “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of repeated acts over a period of time, however short, that serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, following the other person, unwanted communication, or unwanted contact. “Repeated” means two or more incidents evidencing a continuity of purpose, and “Alarm” means to cause fear of danger of physical harm. RSMo 455.010.1(10).
- An ex parte order requires a showing of an immediate and present danger of abuse to the petitioner.
- If an ex parte order is granted then there will be a hearing within fifteen days from the time you receive the order of protection, unless the court grants a continuance.
- At the hearing you will be seeking a full order of protection.
- Even if your ex parte order of protection is denied, you may seek full order of protection, which requires this hearing.
- The full order of protection can last from 180 days to 1 year and may be renewed without a subsequent act of abuse for an additional one hundred eighty days to one year.
- Your current address or place of residence will not be given to the public or the respondent. It is kept private in the court’s file.
- However, you maybe required to provide a mailing address, unless you state that you or another household member would be endangered by giving out that information.
- Your social security number will not be shared with the public or the respondent and will be held as confidential in the courts file. RSMo 455.030.
If you have any question about obtaining an ex parte order of protection, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement agency or the Circuit Clerk’s Office.