Civil Stalking & Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order Form

Use this form to file for a Civil Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Civil Protection Order. 

Anyone who is the victim of stalking or a sexually oriented offense can request one of these orders. There does not need to be a specific type of relationship between the victim and the offender. Criminal charges or convictions against the offender are not required to file for the civil protection order.

Learn more about how these orders can help, the process and the risks here.

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Before You Get Started

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Requesting a civil protection order has benefits and risks. Your risk may increase if:

  • Your abuser is dangerous. Abusers are often more dangerous during the legal case. You may have increased risk if your abuser:
    • Seriously injured you,
    • Threatened to hurt or kill you
    • Strangled or "choked" you
    • Stalked you
    • Hurt or killed pets
    • Suffers from a mental health issue
    • Abuses alcohol or drugs
    • Has guns or other weapons
  • You have children. If the court decides to consider or grant parenting time, visitation or custody, getting a protection order is complicated. You may face risks like losing custody. Some advocates are mandatory reporters. Mandatory reporters have to call children’s services if they learn a child is in danger. Before telling your story, always ask if the advocate is a mandatory reporter.
  • You have an active legal case. If you have an active, undecided legal case (like a custody case about your children) getting a protection order is complicated and risky. You should talk to a lawyer.
  •  There is a current criminal case involving the same action or actions that led you to seek the civil protection order. Filing for a civil protection order while there is a pending criminal case could have serious consequences. For example, the civil protection order could cancel the criminal protection order, the defendant can use the civil case to get evidence to use against you in the criminal case, or vice versa, or you could end up with no protection order at all. You should talk to a lawyer.
  • You are an immigrant. If you are an immigrant, requesting a protection order is complicated—regardless of your immigration status. You should talk to a lawyer.

A protection order may not be the safest option for you. Talking to a lawyer or advocate can help you fully understand the risks you are facing.

After You Finish

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Here’s what to do next:

Step 1. Fill out the forms. You can attach additional pages if you need to. The Court may limit your case to the incidents described in the forms. So, be sure to include all events.

Step 2. Talk to an expert. Before you file, talk to an experienced lawyer or an advocate from a local domestic violence or sexual violence organization. A lawyer can help you understand your complete legal situation and the risks of taking different legal actions. Advocates can help you understand any additional safety risks you might have, connect you with services and help you complete the forms. Advocates may be able to go to court with you.

Step 3. File the forms. Contact the local Court of Common Pleas where you live. Your court may have other local forms that you have to file with your petition, so ask the Clerk if there are more required forms before you file.

Step 4. Attend the ex parte hearing. On the day that you file or the following day, the Court will hold an emergency hearing, called an "ex parte" hearing. The abuser does not attend the ex parte hearing. At this hearing, the judge reviews your forms and may ask you some questions. Then, the judge decides if you need an emergency “ex parte” protection order that starts immediately.

Step 5. Complete service. “Service” is when the Court officially tells the abuser about your filing. After you file, you will need to follow up with the Clerk’s office to make sure that service was completed. Your case cannot be heard at the full hearing until service has been completed.

Step 6. Attend the full hearing. Whether or not you are given the emergency, "ex parte" protection order, the Court holds a full hearing, usually within 10 business days. At the full hearing, you testify and present evidence including any witnesses to show the judge why you need a protection order. You must show that the abuser’s actions have met the requirements for the civil protection order.

Step 7. Be careful with agreements. While the law does not allow for consent agreements in these cases, many courts ask the parties to make an agreement instead of going to a hearing. The agreement would explain what the abuser, and sometimes you, are allowed or not allowed to do. Getting an agreement means that the Court does not have to make a finding that the violence occurred, only that the parties agreed to the order. An agreement may give the abuser a legal advantage. Some courts may consider a “mutual stay away order” which is different from an agreement. If the other party wants to negotiate an agreement or “mutual stay away,” you should consult with a lawyer first to see if it could put you at legal risk. 

Step 8. Get a court order. The Court issues the order at the end of the hearing or soon afterward. Keep your protection order with you in case you need to call the police to enforce it. Give copies to people who may need it (like your child’s school). You can also share it with your employer if you feel comfortable disclosing that information.

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