Know the Laws: Kansas
UPDATED April 7, 2014
A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from an intimate partner or household member.
Here are some steps that you may want to take before, and after, leaving the courthouse:
You may also wish to make a safety plan. People 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 Staying Safe 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 our Protection from Stalking Orders section.
You may also be able to reapply for a PFA order if a new incident of domestic abuse occurs after you are denied the order. However, please note that 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.**
If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal. Generally, appeals are complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer. You can read more on our Filing Appeals page.
* Kan. Stat. § 60-3111
If the defendant violates the PFA order, you can 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. Violating a PFA order can be a class A person misdemeanor. Violation of an extended PFA, which was extended for at least 2 years due to the defendant violating the first order or due to him/her being convicted of certain crimes against you, can be a level 6, person felony.*
Another option can be to file for civil contempt in the court that issued the PFA order for a violation of the order.** The abuser can be held in "civil contempt" if s/he does anything that your PFA order orders him/her not to do. To file for civil contempt, go to the clerk's office and ask for the petition to file for claiming a violation of the order. The violation petition and a summons must be served upon the abuser, or the court may issue a warrant for his/her arrest.
* Kan. Stat. § 21-5924(b)
** See Kan. Stat. § 60-3110
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.** An order can 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. 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.
If you are moving to a new state, you may also call the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit (1-800-903-0111x2) for information on enforcing your order in another state.To read more information about moving out of KS with a PFA, please see our Moving with a Kansas Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) page.