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Restraining Order In Alabama: A Guide


If you are in a relationship with domestic abuse or threat of violence, it is critical to seek help and legal protection by hiring an attorney to file a restraining order in Alabama instead of taking the necessary steps alone.

In Alabama, when someone is a domestic violence victim or a severe abuse threat, the Alabama court can grant an emergency restraining order (ex parte) to help protect you and your children.

Unfortunately, many people involved in a relationship are victims of domestic violence. We will discuss a restraining order and how to get one in Alabama so you can get the help you need.

What Is A Restraining Order In Alabama?

A restraining order also called a protection from abuse (PFA) in Alabama, is a legal document that orders one party to stay away from another. There are two types of protective orders(PFAs) in Alabama.

1. Temporary PFA

If the judge believes it is necessary to protect you or your children from abuse or immediate and present danger, you can get a temporary emergency PFA (ex parte) without a full court hearing. An emergency PFA stays in place to protect you from the time you file for the final order until the court hearing. By law, the judge can take three business days to decide if they will order a temporary order, and a full court hearing generally takes place within ten days of the filing to date.

If your request for an emergency PFA is denied, you may ask the judge to consider a full court hearing to grant a temporary PFA. At this time, you can present evidence and witnesses to prove you were being abused, and in turn, the abuser has the same opportunity of proving they did not harm you.

2. Final PFA

The final PFA requires you and the abuser to be at the hearing. Final PFAs can be permanent and have no expiration date unless the judge states otherwise or if the court order is later changed.

Legal Definition Of Domestic Abuse In Alabama

The following acts are defined as domestic abuse of you or someone you love experiencing the following acts from a current or former household member or intimate partner.

  • Assault of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree
  • Criminal coercían
  • Harassment
  • Arson
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Kidnapping
  • Child abuse, torture or willful or aggravated abuse of a child, chemical endangerment of a child
  • Menacing
  • Theft and taking unauthorized control over property owned jointly or wholly by you
  • Stalking in 1st or 2nd degrees, or aggravated stalking
  • Unlawful imprisonment 
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Other crimes against you

How To Get A Restraining Order In Alabama

If you are being abused, you need to go as soon as possible after the abuse occurs to the county courthouse where you, or the abuser lives. If your county has a family court, go to the clerk, usually in the divorce division. You may obtain a petition during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.

The following are the steps to obtaining a petition for protection.

  • Go to the Family Court clerk in your county and tell them you need to file a petition for protection from an abuse order. Also, ensure you have a photo ID, as signing your petition before the notary will be necessary.
  • Please fill out the required forms and file them with the county clerk. Make sure you use descriptive language and be very specific about the details of the incidence of violence. Tell the clerk that you want your location to remain confidential.
  • Hearing in front of a judge (ex parte hearing) for an emergency PFA order request, the judge will review what you have written and determine whether the protection through a PFA order is necessary.
  • Service of process is when the abuser is served with the papers telling them about the hearing date, a copy of the petition you filed, and your emergency PFA if your judge granted you one. The hearing is usually set within ten days of the date the petition was filed, and you will need to be present at the hearing. If you’re not at the hearing, your emergency PFA will expire, and you must begin the process. Frequently the court does not take the allegations as seriously in the future. Should the abuser not attend the hearing, the judge will likely issue a judgment in your favor.

You can also hire an attorney to help you file a petition to ensure everything is done correctly and promptly.

Petition For Protection From Abuse In Alabama

Ensure you include the following information in your PFA about the abuser:

  • Vehicle, including make, model, and tag number
  • Home address
  • Employer’s information
  • History of gun ownership
  • History of drug, alcohol, or substance abuse
  • Dates of marriage, separation, and divorce
  • A recent photograph
  • Any other information you can think of may be needed or helpful.

Filing for a restraining order can save your life if you are in an abusive relationship or marriage. Hire an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate this challenging time and help you file for divorce in Alabama, child custody, and child support.

Hire Brackin Law Firm To Help You

At Brackin Law Firm, we will help to protect your rights and your family. Our firm has more than 40 years of experience providing comprehensive legal support and representation that is tailored to your needs and situation.

At Brackin Law, our broad range of experience includes family law, divorce and custody disputes, estate planning and probate, DUI, and criminal defense cases. Contact us for a consultation, and we can begin assisting you today!

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