Know the Laws: Kansas
UPDATED December 2, 2012
A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from an intimate partner or household member.
One week after court, call your local law enforcement offices to make sure they have received copies of the PFA order from the clerk.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. Women can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey protective orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Staying Safe.
If you are not granted a PFA order, there are still some things you can do to stay safe. It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence or sexual assault programs in your area to get help, support, and give you advice on how to stay safe. They can help you develop a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need. For safety planning help, ideas, and information, go to our Safety Planning page. You will find a list of Kansas resources on our Where to Find Help page.
If you were not granted a PFA order because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify as a "family or household member," you may be able to seek protection through an order against stalking. You will find more information about this process in the stalking order section.*
You may also be able to reapply for a PFA order if you have new evidence to show the court that domestic abuse did occur, or if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order. Remember that you can only use the PFA process twice in a 12 month period.
If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to someone at a domestic violence organization or a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal. Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer.
* Kansas Code - Article 31a. Protection From Stalking Act
Violating a PFA order is against the law. There are 2 ways to get help if your abuser violates the PFA order.
Police or Sheriff (Criminal)
If the defendant violates the PFA order, call 911 immediately. In some cases, the defendant can be arrested right away. Tell the officers you have a PFA and the defendant is violating it. If the defendant is arrested, then the Prosecutor (District Attorney) can prosecute your abuser because it is a crime to violate a PFA order. If found guilty of a violation of a PFA order, the defendant can be put in jail for up to 150 days.
Through the Civil Court System (Civil)
You may file for civil contempt for a violation of the order. The abuser is in "civil contempt" if he or she does anything that your PFA order orders him or her not to do. To file for civil contempt, go to the clerk's office and ask him/her for the petition to file for claiming a violation of the order. The violation petition and a summons must be served upon your abuser, or the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.*
* Kansas Code 60-3110; Kansas Code 60-31a09 Contempt
To modify your order, you can go back to the court where you got it and file a modification petition with the clerk. The judge can amend an order at any time based on a motion filed by either party.*
To extend your order, you can file for an extension. You must request this renewal before your original order expires. If you request it, a judge may extend your order by granting a renewal for 1 additional year.** However, a new law that became effective July 2012 allows for an order to be extended for at least 2 years and at most, for the lifetime of the abuser if you can prove:
Note: The law says that a person cannot "use the PFA procedure" more than twice in any twelve-month period, except in the case of abuse of a minor.**** It could be possible that in some counties, if you file and withdraw your petition or if you file and are not granted an order, those proceedings could still count towards this two-time limit. For advice about your particular situation, please talk to a lawyer. You can find lawyer referrals on our KS Finding a Lawyer page.
* K.S.A. § 60-3107(f)
** K.S.A. § 60-3107(e)(1)
*** K.S.A. § 60-3107(e)(2)
**** K.S.A. § 60-3111
If you move within Kansas, your order will still be valid and good. It is a good idea to call the clerk to change your address.
Additionally, the federal law provides what is called "Full Faith and Credit," which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands. Different states have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders. You can find out about your states policies by contacting a domestic violence program or the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. www.kcsdv.org
If you are moving out of state, you should call the battered womens program in the state where you are going to find out how that state treats out-of-state orders.
If you are moving to a new state, you may also call the National Center on Full Faith and Credit (1-800-903-0111) for information on enforcing your order there.
Note: Civil protective orders may be enforceable on military bases, and military protective orders may not be enforceable off base. Please check with your local police department, court clerk, and/or domestic violence advocate for more details. Please see our Military Info page for more information.*
* Kansas Code - Article 31B. Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act