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Please read all instructions carefully before starting. If you have any questions regarding the process, you may contact the Adult Abuse filing office at (314) 622-4434 during court operating hours.
To make filing for protection easier, the court now has this remote application process for people without a lawyer. (Lawyers can file this way too – see the end notes.)
- KeepContact Information Updated: It is very important that you provide us with accurate contact information for yourself and the person that you are complaining about. We have to be able to reach you about your application and hearings. If your address or telephone number change after turning in your application, contact the Adult Abuse Office at (314) 622-4434 to update it. We have to be able to reach the other person too. The petition you are filing must be “served” on that person. Until that occurs, the court cannot have a hearing on your case. If you cannot serve the other person after two or three attempts, your case may be dismissed and any temporary protection orders you receive will be gone. Contact the adult abuse office to update that person’s information if it changes.
- Be Specific: Orders of protection are for emergency issues of abuse. During the application process you will describe to the court what your complaints are. Please give us detail about the dates things happened and behaviors you are complaining about. For example, DO say, “On August 1, 2020 they hit me in the face with their fist and I had to go to the emergency room for treatment.” DON’T just say, “My spouse abuses me,” or “I don’t know this person and they are harassing me.”
- Get Confirmation that We Received Your Application: Once you have submitted your application to the court remotely, the court will either call you or send you an email confirming that we received your application. If you do not fill out the application completely, the court clerk may ask you to fill in the missing information before your application goes to the judge for review. If you do not hear from us within 2 hours of submitting your application, call the Adult Abuse Office at (314) 622-4434 to follow up.
- Review by Judge: When the court has your completed application, a judge will review it and either: 1) give you a temporary (ex parte) order of protection to protect you immediately, which lasts until your hearing date; OR 2) give you a hearing date (notice of hearing) – without an ex parte order of protection; OR 3) dismiss the application without a hearing date or an ex parte order of protection. At a hearing date, both you and the other person would tell your stories to see if a full order of protection is granted.
- Pick Up Paperwork: After the judge reviews your petition and gives you either a hearing date, an ex parte order or both, the court will call or email you to pick up your paperwork. You will get original copies for the police to serve. You must come in person and cannot get this by email – email is not private or safe enough for these papers. Please make arrangements to come to the courthouse at the time the clerk gives to you. If the judge dismissed your application without an ex parte order or a notice of hearing, then there will be no paperwork to pick-up.
- Length of Application Process: Please understand the clerks and judges are busy throughout the day with hearings and other matters. This application process takes some time. Normally it takes 3 to 4 hours from the time you submit your application until your paperwork is ready for pick-up. However, on busy days or when you submit your application late in the day, your paperwork may not be ready for pick-up until the next day.
- Your Hearing: If you receive a temporary (ex parte) order or a notice of hearing, then the court will schedule a full hearing to decide if you will get a full order of protection. You will do your hearing remotely via WebEx, which can be accessed over the internet or through a free smart phone app. For people that do not have the technology to do their hearing remotely, in-person hearings may be available case-by-case (call the court clerk at least 3 business days before your hearing to request it). On the day of your hearing, please be prepared to testify and give your evidence to the judge. Do not wait until the day of your hearing to try out WebEx – practice with it so you know how it works.
- Victims’ Advocates: In addition to court clerks in the Adult Abuse filing office, victims’ advocates are available to answer most questions about the remote filing process, what information may or may not be relevant to add to your petition, and how to conduct your hearing. Feel free to speak with an advocate at the courthouse or by phone at (314) 621-4402.
If you are filing for an Order of Protection, you are called the “Petitioner.” The person you are filing the Order of Protection against is called the “Respondent.”
An Order of Protection is a court order that prohibits the Respondent from abusing, molesting, stalking, threatening,
communicating with, committing domestic violence or sexual assault against and/or otherwise disturbing the peace of the Petitioner.
An Order of Protection may also include provisions such as: limited communication/contact only in regards to a shared child,
financial orders and an order for the Respondent to relinquish firearms, get a substance abuse evaluation and/or attend a Batterer’s
A Child Order of Protection can be filed by a parent or guardian if any of the above acts have been committed against a minor child or children.
To file for an Order of Protection in the City of St. Louis, one (or more) of the following must be true:
- You reside in the City of St. Louis;
- The Respondent can be served with the paperwork in the City of St. Louis; and/or
- The abuse/stalking/sexual assault occurred in the City of St. Louis.
COMPLETE THE ORDER OF PROTECTION
Click on either an Adult or Child Order of protection, save it to your computer and complete the petition.
You will then need to save it to your computer by clicking on File, then Save from the menu. You can also right click on the either icon below and select "Save target as" to save the file to your desktop.
SUBMIT THE ORDER OF PROTECTION
Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (excluding Holidays), you may submit your petition directly to the Court online by completing the form below. If you are unable to submit the petition online, you may visit the courthouse at 10 N Tucker Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri.
If it is an emergency and you need to file outside of the hours listed above, you can visit the nearest police department in the City of St. Louis. You can complete the forms online, print them and take them with you to the police department OR the police department should have petition packets that you can complete in writing.
If it is not an emergency, you may choose to complete the petition online, save it and then submit it online during the next available business hours.
Saving this file to your computer may create a safety risk if others can access the computer or device. Only continue if you believe it is safe to do so.
The 22nd Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, Order of Protection Department is currently closed. If you need to file an Order of Protection, please contact your local Police Department.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.