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Legal Information: Wyoming

Restraining Orders

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November 17, 2020

What protections can I get in a domestic violence order of protection?

An ex parte temporary order of protection can:

  1. order the abuser to:
    • not physically abuse you or threaten to physically abuse you;
    • not cause or attempt to cause physical harm to you or commit acts that unreasonably restrain your personal liberty (for example, keeping you locked in a room);
    • not place you in reasonable fear of immediate physical harm;
    • not make you involuntarily participate in sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress;
    • not contact you in any way, either directly or indirectly, including, but not limited to:
    • verbal contact in person, by telephone, other electronic means, including e-mail, texting, fax, contacting through social media, using the internet or similar technology, and any other form of communication;
    • written communication in any form, including through the mail;
    • communication through another person (a “third person”); or
    • nonverbal communication and gestures;
    • not come to your place of employment;
    • not come so close to your place of employment so that it would “upset your life” under any circumstances;
    • not come to your home and not enter your home;
    • not come so close to your home so that it would “upset your life” under any circumstances; and
    • not place you under surveillance;
    • immediately leave the home
    • not transfer, hide, or otherwise get rid of your property or your joint property with the abuser;
    • not abduct, remove, or hide any child in your custody;
    • not contact your children at their school; and
    • not use or have firearms;
  2. give you:
    • sole possession of your home during the period the order is in effect;
    • temporary custody of your children; and
    • other terms that the judge believes are appropriate.1

    A final order of protection can:

    1. do everything listed above; and
    2. include the following additional things:
      • as an alternative to giving you sole possession of the home, the judge could order the respondent to provide temporary suitable alternative housing for you and any children that the abuser is obligated to support;
      • allow you to get your personal belongings from the home (if you are leaving the home);
      • order the abuser to pay you child support and, possibly, temporary financial support for you;
      • order the abuser to pay medical costs that resulted from the abuse; (Note: You may also be able to sue for other losses suffered as a result of the abuse in small claims court - see WY Suing an Abuser for Money for more info);
      • order the abuser to get counseling;
      • order the abuser to do / not do anything else needed for your protection;
      • order your wireless cell phone company to:
        • transfer to you the right to use any cell phone numbers (yours and your children’s) that were part of a joint account with the abuser or that were in the abuser’s name; and
        • terminate the abuser’s ability to use or access any data associated with those phone numbers;
      • give you sole possession of a pet, whether the pet is kept or owned by you, the respondent, or a minor child of either;
      • prohibit the abuser from having contact with the pet, removing it, concealing it, or disposing of it;
      • give the abuser visitation of your children. However, the judge must put protections in place for the safety of you and your children. For example, the judge can:
    • order the children to be exchanged in a protected setting;
    • order that visitation be arranged and supervised by another person or agency, and if the other person is a family or household member, establish conditions to be followed during the visitation;
    • order the respondent to attend and complete to the court’s satisfaction a program of intervention or other counseling as a condition of visitation;
    • order the respondent to not drink alcohol or use drugs for up to 24 hours before the visitation and during the visitation;
    • order the respondent to pay a fee through the court towards the costs of supervised visitation;
    • prohibit overnight visitation;
    • require the respondent to post a bond (place money with the court) to secure the return and safety of your children; and/or
    • order anything else to keep you, the children or another family or household member safe.2

    Whether a judge orders any or all of the above depends on the facts of your case.

    1 See Wyoming Courts website, Ex Parte Order of Protection
    2 Wyoming Code 35-21-105; Wyoming Courts website, Order of Protection