Can I get my out-of-state order of protection enforced in Arkansas? What are the requirements?
Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Arkansas as long as:
- It was issued to prevent violent or threatening acts, harassing behavior, sexual violence, or it was issued to prevent another person from coming near you or contacting you.*
- The court that issued the order had jurisdiction over the people and case. (In other words, the court had the authority to hear the case.)
- The abuser received notice of the order and had an opportunity to go to court to present evidence. It doesn't matter if s/he actually showed up in court; just that s/he had the opportunity to do so.
- In the case of ex parte temporary and emergency orders, the abuser must receive notice and have an opportunity to go to court to present evidence at a hearing that is scheduled within a "reasonable time" after the order is issued.**
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.
* 18 U.S.C. § 2266(5)
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a) & (b); Ark. Code § 9-15-302(b)
Does it cost anything to register my protection order?
No. There is no fee for registering your protection order in Arkansas.*
* Ark. Code § 9-15-302(d)(3)
Can I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Arkansas?
No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Arkansas.
To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where your abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders pages for the state where your order was issued.
If your order does expire while you are living in Arkansas, you may be able to get a new one issued in Arkansas but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Arkansas. To find out more information on how to get a protection order in Arkansas, visit our AR Domestic Violence Orders of Protection page.
I was granted temporary custody with my out-of-state protection order. Will I still have temporary custody of my children in Arkansas?
Yes. As long as the child custody provision complies with certain federal laws,* Arkansas can enforce a temporary custody order that is a part of a protection order.
To have someone read over your order and tell you if it meets this legal standard, contact a lawyer in your area. To find a lawyer in your area, please go to the AR Finding a Lawyer page.
* The federal laws are the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and it must be consistent with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980.