Teens and Protection Orders

Teens and Protection Orders
I received an email last week that posed an interesting question: Can teenagers obtain protection orders in America? It is hard to imagine our teen sons and daughters being in domestic violent relationships but it occurs more then we know. Teens are very unlikely to report dating violence to police and/or their parents. I searched many websites to see what states allowed teens to get protection orders and if they need their parents to obtain it.

Each state has certain stipulations you most adhere to or certain criteria that has to be met in order to get a civil protection order. Some states do not cover dating relationships, only if you are married or living with the abuser. If one can not be obtain, you may look into filing for a restraining order under harassment and stalking laws.

Here is what I found.

There are 33 states and the District of Columbia that allow dating violence as a cause for a protection order. These states are:

1. Washington
2. California
3. Nevada
4. Idaho
5. Montana
6. Minnesota
7. Wyoming
8. Wisconsin
9. Arkansas
10. Oklahoma
11. Texas
12. Hawaii
13. Alaska
14. Louisiana
15. New Mexico
16. Colorado
17. Florida
18. Illinois
19. Indiana
20. Michigan
21. West Virginia
22. Tennessee
23. North Carolina
24. Maryland
25. Connecticut
26. New Hampshire
27. Vermont
28. Rhode Island
29. Massachusetts
30. North Dakota
31. New Jersey
32. Mississippi
33. Kansas

There are 19 states in which teens can file without an adult. There are:

1. Washington
2. California
3. Utah
4. Idaho
5. Minnesota
6. Oklahoma
7. Texas
8. Louisiana
9. Illinois
10. Michigan
11. Pennsylvania
12. New Hampshire
13. Vermont
14. New York
15. Massachusetts
16. South Dakota
17. New Jersey
18. Arkansas
19. Minnesota

The person filing the restraining order normally doesn’t have to pay anything to file the order. The abuser is made to pay it in their court fees. The length of a protection order varies by state. For instance, in Kansas a protection order is good for only 2 months but in Ohio, where I live, it is up to 5 years. You can request the order to be renewed or extended.

For more information, do a search for your state website. Protection orders are handled through civil or domestic courts. To read about the process I went through to get a protection order that led to my abuser being removed from my home by the police, I wrote this article.

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