What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
You should review the order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, you might want to ask the clerk how to get it corrected. Here are some additional things that you may want to do after leaving the courthouse:
- Make several copies of the order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
- Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
- Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in, and protected by, the order.
- If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, you might want to take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
- You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.
- Be aware of your safety while leaving the courthouse. If you are concerned that the abuser may try to approach you, contact a court officer to see if you can be accompanied to your car.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. Many people obey protection orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Safety Tips for Stalking Victims.
What can I do if the stalker violates the order?
You can call the police or sheriff, even if you think it is a minor violation. The protection order can be violated if the stalker does not follow every provision in the order. It can be a crime and s/he can be “held in contempt of court” if the stalker knowingly violates the order in any way. If you file a petition in the court that issued the order for contempt, the judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court (disobeying a court order). You can file for this even if the police don’t make an arrest or file criminal charges.
If you do call the police, it is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officers and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case. It is also important to have a copy of the protective order with you at all times. Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it could help you have the order extended or modified.
If the stalker has been served with the ex parte order or the final protective order and violates the order, he can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and can be forced to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and/or go to jail for up to 1 year. If the stalker is convicted of violating the order for a second time, he can be found guilty of a felony and have to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 and/or be put in jail for 1-3 years.*
If the stalker has been served with the order and violates the order and causes physical injury to you or anyone else who is protected by the order, s/he can be guilty of a misdemeanor and sent to jail for anywhere from 20 days to 1 year and, additionally, be forced to pay a fine of up to $5,000. If this is the stalker’s second conviction for violating the order and causing physical injury s/he could be guilty of a felony and can be put in jail for 1-5 years and/or be forced to pay between $3,000-$10,000. A judge or jury will decide how much time the stalker should spend in jail based on how bad the injuries s/he caused were.*
* 22 O.S. § 60.6 (A)(1)&(2), (B)(1)-(3)
How do I change or extend the protective order?
Only a judge can modify (change) or extend a protection order. If you want to change the terms of your order, you will have to go back to the court where the order was issued, and file a motion to modify the order with the clerk of court. The stalker will then be served with a copy of the papers you file and will have the opportunity to be present at the court hearing where the judge will decide whether or not to change it.*
If you would like to extend your protection order, remember to file a motion at the court before the original order expires.
* 22 O.S. § 60.4(G)(3)
What happens if I move?
Your stalking protection order is good everywhere in the state of Oklahoma and in all other states.* Federal law provides what is called "full faith and credit," which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands.**
Different states may have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders. You can find out about your new state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program (if the stalker is an intimate partner) or the Stalking Resource Center. You may also try calling the clerk of courts, or the prosecutor in the area you are moving to or by calling the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111 x 2).
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
* 22 O.S. § 60.7
** 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a)&(b)