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Legal Information: Arkansas

Restraining Orders

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October 27, 2017

Who can get an order of protection?

You may be eligible for an order of protection against a family or household member who has committed domestic violence against you. The abuser is a family or household members if s/he is:

  • a spouse or former spouse;
  • a parent or child;
  • any person related to you by blood within the 4th degree of consanguinity (this includes family relationships up to first cousins);
  • an in-law (related by marriage within the 2nd degree of consanguinity);*
  • any child residing in the household;
  • a person with whom you have (or had) a child in common;
  • a person with whom you currently live or have lived in the past;
  • a person with whom you have or have had a dating relationship (romantic or intimate).**

* Ark. Code § 9-15-103(5)
** Ark. Code § 9-15-103(4)

How will a judge decide if I am in a dating relationship with the abuser?

You may be eligible for an order or protection against an abuser with whom you have or have had a dating relationship (romantic or intimate).*

When deciding whether you and the abuser were in a dating relationship, the judge will consider:

  • the length of your relationship;
  • the type of relationship; and
  • the frequency of interaction between you and the abuser.**

A dating relationship does not include a casual relationship or ordinary socializing in a business or social context.***

* Ark. Code § 9-15-103(4)
** Ark. Code § 9-15-103(2)(A)
*** Ark. Code § 9-15-103(2)(B)

Can I get an order of protection if I am a minor?

Yes. A minor (under 18) cannot file the petition himself/herself, but any adult family or household member may file on behalf of the minor, including a married minor.* An employee or volunteer at a domestic violence shelter or organization may also file on behalf of a minor, including a married minor.** Note: A minor may be able to get an order of protection if s/he is residing in the household where the domestic abuse occurred. The minor does not have to be the direct victim of abuse in this case.***

* Ark. Code § 9-15-201(d)(2)
** Ark. Code § 9-15-201(d)(4)
*** Ark. Code § 9-15-103(4)