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Under federal law, a protective order issued in one state must be enforced wherever a violation occurs – even if it is not in the same state where the order was issued. Known as full faith and credit, this federal law seeks to protect victims of domestic violence from abusers crossing state lines to violate the terms of protection orders. If you have questions about protective orders, contact an attorney in your area. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the scope and effect of the order.
According to federal law (18 USCA §2265), each state is required to enforce valid protection orders that are issued by other states when the terms of the order are violated in its jurisdiction. Protective orders are defined broadly under the law to account for the various types of orders issued by states, such as temporary restraining orders (TROs) and no-contact orders, for example. To qualify, the orders must seek to “prevent violent or threatening acts of harassment against or contact or communication with or physical proximity to another person.”
A key component of the law is that the protection order must be valid before the jurisdiction is required to enforce it.
To be valid, a protection order must:
The order does not have to be an original or contain a raised seal. The person whom the order protects does not have a duty to register the order with the new state, should he or she move. Also, the person seeking to enforce the order does not have to carry a copy of it with him or her.
The person subject to the protection order must have been provided with due process rights, including notice of the order and an opportunity to be heard prior to the order being issued. The only exception is if the order was issued as an emergency order. In that situation, a hearing must have been set within a reasonable amount of time to protect the alleged offender’s due process rights.
If the police in another state fail to comply with a protection order because it was issued by another jurisdiction, the officer and/or the police department may be held legally responsible for their inaction if someone is injured as a result.
Just because a protection order was issued against you in one state does not mean it cannot be enforced against you in another. Under federal full faith and credit laws, a valid protection order must be enforced in any US jurisdiction where a violation occurs. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area if you have been charged with violating a protection order.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.