Victim/Witness Protection Orders and No Contact Orders
A Protection Order Can:
- stop the person from harming you and/or your children.
- stop the person who has been harming you from entering your home, school or place of work.
- direct the person who injured you to get counseling.
- direct the abuser to leave the household.
- retain the children in your care.
You have the right to file a petition in magistrate court to solicit an order of protection from domestic abuse.
Violation of a Protection Order is Serious
A violation of any provision of a protection order is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a fine up to $5,000.00.
Many battered victim's programs across the country offer emergency shelter and other services for violent families. In Idaho, there are 26 such programs with a variety of services. If someone at home is harming you, join the many people who are no saying "NO MORE" and winning support.
Cycle of Violence
Research shows that violence can be averted or diminished when authorities intervene. Otherwise, the cycle of violence and abuse can continue, against you and your children, and may increase in frequency and severity. If you are a victim of domestic violence, BREAK THE CYCLE, ask for assistance.
Idaho passed a law in 1988 that can help you get refuge from further abuse. This is the Domeictic Violence Crime Prevention Act (Idaho code 39-6302). The law safeguards spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who live or have lived together and persons who have had a child or children in common, whether they have been married or have ever lived together. A Protection Order is a court order for a person to stop harming you.
How Do I Get One?
A Protection Order may be acquired WITHOUT a lawyer. Applications, called "Petitions," are available from the Clerk of the District Court in the county where you live. Tell the Clerk you require protection from domestic violence. This service is FREE!
- Go to your County Courthouse or your local shelter.
- Ask the Clerk or shelter program for a protection order.
- They will give you a form to completed, called a "Petition."
The "Petition" is a legal document. It is imperative that you understand that you are under oath and have to tell the truth when filling one out.
How Do I Fill Out The Form?
Don't let the form alarm you. A lot of facts are required by the law to seek protection. Just answer the questions as completely as you can in your own words. If you need help in filling out the forms, contact one of the programs listed at the bottom of this page.
The person who fills out the form, usually the victim, is called the "Petitioner." The person a victim needs protection from is the "Respondent." The petition can be filed in the county you live in, where you are temporarily living, or where the respondent is living.
The most significant part is to explain in your own words why you are scared of being injured. Explain how you were injured. Be Precise about violent conduct or threats. Include dates, places, injuries, if children were present, and if a weapon was used write down what kind. Write down everything you can about this abuse. This Is Imperative. The judge will use what you write to decide if you need help or not. If you believe your are in danger, write it down. The form is in English. Ask for help if you need it. After you are done, deliver the completed form to the clerk.
- Answer each questions as completely as you can.
- Petitioner means the person who was injured.
- Respondent means the person who caused the injury(s).
- Write about how, when, and where you were injured.
- Deliver the completed form to the clerk.
In Bannock County, which involves Pocatello and Chubbuck, you can contact the Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center at 282-HOPE (4673) and 282-2805, or contact Family Services Alliance at 282-0742 and 251-4357.
What Happens Next?
The clerk will deliver the form to the judge in person or by telephone. After you visit with the judge and a temporary order is issued, you are required to return to the clerks office to pick up your copy. The judge may issue you a temporary protection order at that time, and will set a hearing date within 14 days to decide whether to issue a full 90 day "Protection Order." YOU MUST BE PRESENT AT THIS HEARING! Follow Through! The clerk will notify you as to when and where the hearing is.
If the judge endorses a temporary protection order or assigns a date for the protection order hearing, law enforcement will serve a copy to the Respondent.
It is imperative that you read the entire Protection Order. You may be required to attend an orientation class or come across an error which must be pointed out to the clerk at once.
Always keep a certified copy of the protection order with you!
Deliver copies to your employer, your child's daycare and everyone else who needs to know about the order. Keep a certified copy to show to a law enforcement officer if you require help.
- The judge will decide if you need protection.
- The judge may give you up to 14 days of safety (a temporary protection order).
- If it is issued, get your copy from the Court Clerk.
- A court date will be set to decide if an extended period of protection will be given.
- Attend Your Hearings! This will be for a 90 day Protection Order.
- ALWAYS keep a certified copy of the protection order with you.
If you are awarded a Protection Order, it is usually for 90 days and can be renewed for one (1) year periods if you require more protection. If you do need to have it renewed, remember to do this before it expires. You can petition for a change in this order anytime.
Once a judge has issued a protection order to you and the respondent (the person you asked protection from) is served with notice of the protection order, it is then against the law to break any part of the protection order. The majority of respondents take this protection order seriously. However, some do violate the order. It is imperative to notify the authorities and to keep yourself as safe as possible. Phone emergency 911 or your local law enforcement agency and tell them about the violation. Do Not hold false hopes that the protection order will be all you require to be safe, especially if forcible violations develop.
- Phone 911, ISU Public Safety at 2515 or your local law enforcement office to report the protection order violation.
- If there are witnesses, get their names and ask them to stay until law enforcement shows up.
- Remember that for some respondents the protection order is only a piece of paper. Your safety comes first.
- Do Not Depend On The Protection Order As Your Only Source of Safety.
If someone has hurt you and they are arrested, they may be issued a No Contact Order as a condition of their release from jail. The No Contact Order may allow the arrested person to return home, only when escorted by a law enforcement officer, to obtain some personal items needed for hygiene and/or tools/equipment for work. The No Contact Order may also order the arrested person to stay away from you, your children, your place of work and your children's schools. You should not attempt to contact the arrested person either.
The purpose of the No Contact Order is for you to have time to receive the help you need to stop the cycle of violence.
General Domestic Violence Information
The resources available for information related to domestic violence, and places of safety and shelters, are listed below. Shelters provide food, shelter, clothing and referral services in a supportive atmosphere. Safe homes provide similar services with a volunteer family in the community. In some areas of Idaho, motels will provide emergency housing, and those with longer shelter needs are referred to nearby shelters.
You also have the right to sue for losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including medical and moving expenses, loss of earnings or support, and other out-of-pocket expenses for injuries sustained and damage to your property. This can be done without an attorney in small claims court if the total amount claimed is under $3,000.
You may be eligible for victim's compensation. Call 1-800-950-2110 for further information. This fund can directly reimburse victims of crime for related medical and counseling expenses not covered by other resources.
- be given prior notice of and be present at all criminal proceedings;
- be heard upon request at all criminal proceedings considering a plea of guilty and sentencing of defendant;
- be given the opportunity to talk with the prosecutor and be advised of any proposed plea bargain/agreement;
- be allowed to refuse an interview by the defendant or on the defendant's behalf;
- be consulted by the pre-sentence investigator;
- the return of property when it is no longer needed as evidence;
- be notified when the defendant is released or escapes from custody (through the Idaho Department of Corrections VINE Program).
If you wish to invoke your rights, you must call the City Attorney's Office at 234-6148 or contact the Pocatello Victim Witness Coordinator at 234-6121.
VINE PROGRAM - What Will VINE Do For Me?
VINE will tell you if an offender is in a State Correctional Facility and will give you other important custody information. VINE will also let you leave a phone number where you want to be called automatically when that offender is released, transferred, or escapes.
For additional information contact the Idaho Department of Corrections Victim Services at 1-208-658-2191 or visit the following website: www.corrections.state.id.us/programs/VINEBrochure.pdf
Idaho domestic violence programs with 24-hour hotlines
|AMERICAN FALLS - Power County Domestic Violence Support||800-226-2311|
|BLACKFOOT - Bingham Crisis Center||208-680-3007|
|BOISE - Boise WCA Women & Children Crisis Center||208-343-7025|
|FORT HALL - Shosone/Bannock Victims of Crime||208-478-4000|
|IDAHO FALLS - Domestic Violence Intervention Center||208-525-1820|
|POCATELLO - Family Services Alliance or ISU's Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center||208-251-4357/208-282-4673|
|REXBURG - Family Crisis Center||800-962-5601 or 208-624-3068|
|SODA SPRINGS - Caribou County Domestic Violence Center||208-547-2561|
|TWIN FALLS - Volunteers Against Violence||208-733-0100|
|Idaho Council on Domestic Violence & Victim Assistance||1-800-669-3176|
National Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline 1-800-779-7233
|Other Important Numbers|
|Pocatello Police Department||234-6100|
|Bannock County Sheriff||236-7114|
|Bannock County Court Services||236-7083|
|Bannock County Victim/Witness Coordinator||236-7284|
|Idaho Dept. of Corrections VINE Program||1-877-846-3443|
|Pocatello Free Clinic||233-6245|
|Portneuf Medical Center||239-1000|
|ISU Public Safety||282-2515|
|ISU Student Affairs||282-2794|
|ISU Student Health||282-2330|
|ISU Counseling & Testing||282-2130|