Protective Orders


Tempoary Protective Orders

This is general information and forms for Temporary Protective Orders. Please be aware that PDFs will download to your computer and if you want to hide them you will need to delete them from your downloads.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline phone number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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Frequently Asked Questions about Temporary Protective Orders and Domestic Violence :

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to get power and control over anotherperson. It can be physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or emotional/psychological abuse. Georgia law defines domestic violence as any felony, simple battery, simple assault, assault,stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, and criminal trespass.

Georgia law also requires that the violence occur between parents of the same child, currentspouses, past spouses, parent and child, stepparent and stepchild, foster parent and fosterchild, or persons living, or who formerly lived, together.

What is emotional/psychological abuse?

Are you threatened with physical violence? Are you verbally humiliated or put down? Are you blamed for everything? Are you kept away from family and friends? Any of these can besigns of emotional/psychological abuse.

What is stalking?

Stalking is a pattern of behavior that causes a reasonable person to fear for their safety or thesafety of their family. The law defines stalking as following, placing under surveillance, orcontacting another person without their consent causing them emotional distress by placing them in fear of their safety or the safety of a family member.

What can I do if I am a being abused?

The first thing you should do is make a safety plan.

What is a safety plan?

This is a plan to help you prepare to get out of an abusive relationship and stay safe.

What can I do legally if I am being abused or stalked?

In Superior Court, you can apply for a Protective Order, or file for divorce, if you are married to the person who abused or stalked you. In Magistrate Court, you can apply for a criminal warrant or a good behavior bond.

How do I apply for a Protective Order?

You have to fill out a petition stating what happened and what you want the court to do aboutwhat happened. You can get the petition in the Clerk's Office or from the "Forms and Tool Kits" tab of this website. If you need help filling out the petition someone in the clerk's office, a domestic violence shelter advocate, or victim/witness advocate should be able to helpyou. You then file the petition in the Clerk's Office of the Superior Court in the county where the person who abused or stalked you lives. After you file the petition, you will see a judge who may give you an Ex Parte Protective Order and schedule a hearing. The hearing will take place within 30 days of date that you filed your petition. At the hearing both you and the person who abused or stalked you will tell the judge, and answer questions about, what happened. After the judge hears from both of you, the judge will decide whether to give you a Temporary Protective Order for up to 12 months.

What can a Protective Order do?

A Protective Order requires the person who abused or stalked you not to abuse, stalk or contact you. It can require the person to leave your home. It can also give you custody of your child(ren), child support, temporary use of property and do many other things.

What happens if the person who abused or stalked me does not obey the Order?

The person can be held in contempt of court. They can also be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Can the Protective Order last longer than 12 months?

Yes, if you file a Motion before your Protective Order ends, the Court, after a hearing with you and the person who abused or stalked you, may give you a Three Year or Permanent Order.

General Information on Family Protective Orders:

Learn About Protective Orders :

How To File a Family Violence Protective Order - PDF

How To Get a Temporary Protective Order - PDF

Family Violence/ Protective Order Forms :

Moving to Another State with a Family Violence Protective Order:

How To Get a Restraining Order and Common Questions About Domestic Violence :

Last Review and Update: Jun 01, 2017