Filing a protective order in Missouri can help protect you from violence or otherwise dangerous situations. If you are unsafe, it’s important that you file a protective order to keep yourself or your loved ones legally protected.

Types of Protective Orders in Missouri

A protective order is a court order by the state to prevent a person from harming or harassing another person. It is granted on behalf of a person who has suffered domestic violence by a present or current member of their household or has been a victim of sexual assault or stalking.

If a protective order is put in place, and the parameters are violated, criminal charges can be filed against that person. In Missouri, you can file an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection.

Ex Parte Order of Protection

An ex parte order of protection is provided if the person petitioning can show good cause for a protective order. The petitioner gives their reason or need for the order in a court hearing as soon as the request is filed. This hearing is completed before the person who is being filed against receives notice.

An ex parte order is a temporary measure for emergency situations. If the judge believes there is an immediate and current risk of harm to the petitioner, that is good cause to enact an ex parte order. In some situations, the order will be granted without a hearing.

This temporary protective order lasts for 15 days. During this time, there will be a full hearing that includes the party who is being filed against, or respondent. If there is no hearing during this time, and no valid continuance, the ex parte protective order will expire.

Temporary protective orders generally prevent the respondent from:

  • Abusing or harassing the petitioner
  • Entering or living in the petitioner’s home
  • Talking to or in any way contacting the petitioner

It may also provide temporary child custody and possession of pets, along with any other reasonably necessary safety measures.

An ex parte order is served on the respondent once it is granted, and it’s in effect before it is served. The order will also include the date for the full hearing and the criminal consequences of violating the protective order.

If the petitioner is not granted an ex parte order, they will still be given a date and time for a hearing for a full order of protection.

Full Order of Protection

At the full hearing, the petitioner must prove their need for a protective order. The respondent can also explain their side of things. This step can be made much easier with the help of an experienced protective order attorney who can represent your interests and advocate for why you need a protective order.

If the full order of protection is granted, it will last a minimum of 180 days to a maximum of 1 year. The court will automatically renew the full protective order if it’s in the interests of all parties, unless the respondent files for a hearing more than 30 days before the expiration date.

A full order of protection can grant relief in the form of:

  • Preventing the respondent from harassing, threatening, or abusing the petitioner
  • Prohibiting the respondent from entering the petitioner’s home
  • Forcing the respondent to move out if they share a residence
  • Preventing the respondent from contacting the petitioner
  • Granting the petitioner child custody and creating a visitation schedule for the respondent that is safe for the children
  • Providing child and spousal support to the petitioner if the parties were legally married
  • Giving the petitioner temporary ownership of personal property
  • Ordering the respondent to give additional financial assistance in the form of rent, medical treatment costs, court costs, attorney fees, or other avenues
  • Preventing the respondent from transferring or selling their assets
  • Providing the petitioner with possession and care of pets

The full order of protection will be granted for longer than 1 year if the court finds:

  • The respondent is a serious threat to the mental or physical health of the petitioner.
  • The respondent is a serious threat to the mental or physical health of a minor in the household of the petitioner.

Then, the full order may be granted for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10.


Q: How Does an Order of Protection Work in Missouri?

A: An order of protection protects the individual who files it from stalking, harassment, and abusive behaviors. A temporary protective order can be filed until a hearing for a full protective order is held. If you are suffering from domestic violence from a current or past household member, or have suffered from stalking or sexual assault, you can file a protective order against that individual.

Q: What Is the Penalty for Violating the Order of Protection in Missouri?

A: If someone violates the guidelines of a protective order placed against them, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor in Missouri results in a penalty of up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines. A repeat offense within 5 years will result in a Class E felony. A conviction results in up to 4 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Q: Are Protection Orders Public Record in Missouri?

A: Yes, orders of protection are public record. It can impact your job opportunities, housing, and other aspects of your personal life. If you’ve had a protective order filed against you, it’s important not to ignore it. Although you may not plan on violating the terms, a protective order can be seen by anyone if it is granted. If you violate the terms, you can have criminal charges filed against you. It’s essential to tell your side in a hearing for a protective order.

Q: What Is Considered Harassment in Missouri?

A: Under Missouri law Section 565.090, harassment is when a person’s actions are done with the purpose of creating someone’s emotional distress without good cause to do so. This includes behaviors such as:

  • Threatening to commit a felony that frightens and intimidates the victim
  • Using a phone or electronic communication to frighten or distress the victim
  • Repeatedly and knowingly contacting a victim who doesn’t want to communicate

Filing Orders of Protection in St. Charles

If you are suffering from domestic violence or threatening behavior, it can be overwhelming to imagine filing a protective order. When you work with an attorney from Stange Law Firm, we can provide you with confidential legal support to get you the protection you need.