This is a mechanism to allow protection for people who are the victims of domestic violence, to protect against bodily injury, threats of injury and to grant judicial protection for victims of abuse. (K.S.A. 60-3101).
What is the definition of abuse in applying for a protection from abuse order?
It can encompass a variety of actions, but generally requires that the party you are seeking protection from be either an intimate partner or a family or household member (or having a history of having been an intimate partner or family or household member). If an abuser: 1) intentionally attempts to cause bodily injury, or intentionally or recklessly does cause bodily injury, 2) intentionally places a victim, by physical threat, in fear of imminent (immediate) bodily injury; 3) engages in sexual contact or attempted sexual contact without consent or when such person is incapable of giving consent. Further some children need a protection from abuse order (which a parent or other adult responsible for the child’s care and safety can seek on the child’s behalf) if a person engages in sexual intercourse with a child less than 16, any lewd fondling or touching of the person with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the minor or offender or both. (See K.S.A. 60-3102) Who specifically can seek protection for a child? The parent of a child, an adult residing with a minor child or the court’s appointed legal custodian or legal guardian. (See K.S.A. 60-3104)
What is the definition of intimate partners or household members?
Intimate partners or household members are persons who have been in a dating relationship, people who reside together or who have resided together and/or people who have a child in common. A dating relationship is a social relationship of a romantic or nature. If a plaintiff (person requesting the protection) swears under oath that a relationship exists, it will be presumed by the court. If the court is asked to consider whether a dating relationship exists, the court will consider any relevant information including the nature of the relationship, the length of time the relationship existed, the frequency of the interactions between the parties and the time since the relationship was terminated or ended.
What is the Jurisdiction for the case (the ability to hear the case)?
Generally, the appropriate place to file the case is the location where the abuse act or acts took place. The ability of a victim to seek protection will not be affected by a victim leaving the residence or household to avoid further abuse. Any petition that seeks a custody determination for minor children is required to have other specific information about the jurisdiction of the court to make a child custody determination (See K.S.A. 60-3103)
Will the Court Grant Me Emergency Relief?
Yes, under K.S.A. 60-3105, a Petitioner can be granted emergency relief. If the judge deems an emergency order necessary for the best interests of victim, and feels it is necessary to protect the plaintiff or minor child or children from abuse, an emergency order can be entered. To obtain an emergency order, generally an immediate and present danger of abuse to the plaintiff (victim) and/or the minor children needs to be shown (and constitutes good cause for the entry of an emergency order).
Will a Hearing Be Held?
Yes, under K.S.A. 60-3106, within 21 days of the filing of a petition, a hearing shall be held at which the plaintiff must prove the abuse allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. The defendant will have the opportunity to cross-examine the petitioner and their witnesses and present evidence on the defendant’s behalf. Prior to the hearing on the petition, the court has the ability to grant temporary orders as it deems necessary to protect the children or the plaintiff from abuse. A temporary order cannot modify an existing order of legal custody, residency, visitation or parenting time unless there is sworn testimony at a hearing to show good cause.
What Relief (Protection) Can the Court Grant through a Protection from Abuse Order?
The court has wide-reaching ability to try to protect a person from abuse. The protection order begins with the premise that the defendant is restrained (prevented) from abusing, molesting and or interfering with the privacy or rights of the plaintiff or minor children of the parties. It also contains an order that if violated, a violation may constitute assault, battery, domestic battery and/or violation of a protection order. The court can also order the defendant to allow possession of the residence or household to the plaintiff, to prevent the defendant from entering or remaining upon the premises of the household, requiring the defendant to provide suitable, alternative housing, awarding temporary custody and residency with established parenting time for the children, ordering law enforcement to evict the Respondent from the house, ordering support payments, awarding attorney fees and expenses, making provisions for personal property, requiring any person against whom an order is issued to seek counseling to aid in stopping abuse, ordering any other acts deemed necessary to promote the safety of the plaintiff or the children. (K.S.A. 60-3107)
Can a Protection from Abuse Order Be Extended?
Yes. It is entered for a period of up to one year, but it may be extended for one additional year. If the court determines through a motion, however, that the defendant has violated a protection order, it may be extended for up to two additional years and up to the lifetime of the defendant. A protection order may be amended by agreement or at any time upon motion by either party.
Will My Protection Order be Valid Nationwide?
Under K.S.A. 60-3112, all temporary, amended, final and other protection from abuse orders, including orders from other states, shall be entered into the national criminal information center protection order file.
Do you need a protection order? Do you need to defend against a protection order? Call Pingel Family Law today (816) 208-8130 to allow us to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.