Ex parte orders of protection, often simply referred to as ‘ex partes’ or restraining orders, are temporary orders from the court, pursuant to the Missouri Domestic Violence Act, chapter 455, RSMo, restraining a Respondent (the person being filed against) from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, molesting or disturbing the peace of the Petitioner (the person filing) or protected child(ren). (RSMo 455.032) After a court hearing, these temporary orders can become full orders of protection which typically remain in effect for one year.
- If the Respondent (the person being filed against) is 17 or younger, the Juvenile Office will need to be contacted by the Petitioner (the person filing) first. The number for the Juvenile Office is 417-235-6245
- If there are more than one Respondent, one packet will need to be filled out for each individual Respondent.
- Please note, the court cannot change custody if a prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made.
- The following forms are fillable forms and most compatible with the Adobe Acrobat software. If you do not currently have Adobe Acrobat on your device, the software is free to download at http://get.adobe.com/reader. The forms will need to be saved to a location outside of this site, failure to do so will likely lead to a loss of information and require starting over.
- If the person who needs an order of protection is 18 or older, they will need to fill out:
- Adult Order of Protection Packet
- Additional sheet for questions #11
- If the person(s) who needs an order of protection is/are 17 or younger, a parent or guardian will need to fill out the appropriate form based on the number of children who need the order of protection:
- 1 Child Order of Protection Packet
- 2 – 5 Children Order of Protection Packet
- 6 – 10 Children Order of Protection Packet
- Additional sheet for question #6
- It is recommended paperwork be brought directly to the Circuit Clerk’s Office during business hours as a clerk will be available to explain the procedure for filing all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of the petition to the court. (RSMo 455.025)
- If it is an emergency and the Circuit Clerk’s Office is not open, paperwork can be submitted to the Lawrence County Jail.
- There is no filing fee for an ex parte order of protection. (RSMo 455.027)
- Once the paperwork has been filled out and submitted, a judge will review the petition. The judge may:
- Grant the ex parte order of protection and set a court date for a hearing on issuing a full order of protection.
- Deny the ex parte order of protection but set a court date for a hearing on issuing a full order of protection.
- Deny the ex parte order of protection.
- If the judge sets a court date, a copy of the summons with the court date will be provided to both parties. It is the party’s responsibility to be aware of this court date and appear for the hearing.
EX PARTE PACKETS
- Pamphlet – Adult Orders of Protection
- Pamphlet – Child(ren) Orders of Protection
- Pamphlet – Domestic Violence and the Law (MissouriLawyersHelp.org)
- Pamphlet – Understanding the Nature and Dynamics of Domestic Violence
- The Victim Center