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Orders of Protection 

Orders of Protection , what’s that all about?

Order of Protection Information

Missouri’s Adult Abuse Act provides protective relief for victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault. This sheet contains some answers to frequently asked questions about Ex-Partes / Full Orders of Protection.


What's the difference between a Ex-Parte and a Notice of Hearing?

  • Ex-Parte - prohibits the respondent from certain acts.

  • Notice of Hearing - is simply a court date to appear in front of a judge to try and obtain a full order of protection.


Who qualifies for an Order of Protection? What are the qualifications for an order of protection?


  • 17 years of age and over or emancipated for adult abuse order of protection.

  • Relationship between you and the other abuser, stalker, and/or offender needs to be either Married or Used to be Married, Related by blood or Marriage, Living or Used to Live together, Have a child In common, and/or Dating.

  • The offense against you will need to be domestic violence, stalking, and or sexual assault.


Where can I file at?


  • The county where you live

  • The county where the Abuser/ Stalker / Offender lives

  • The county where the abuse, stalking, and/or sexual assault happened.

*The County Court House is where you will go, even if the incident occurred in city limits.

Cass County - 2501 W Wall Street Harrisonville, MO (816-380-8232 or 816-380-8228)


How much will it cost?


  • There is no fee for an Ex-Parte


Can I file if I still want the respondent to see our children?


  • YES! You can even put on the form no communication “except in regards to the children”. You can also put in the orders, to communicate through a co-parenting app only as well.

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What is the procedure for filing an Ex-Parte?

You must fill out a petition for an order of protection. This is a four page form telling the judge why you believe you need an order of protection.


  • You will go to the county courthouse and complete the petition for the Ex-Parte

  • You can find the petition at the courthouse or at under court forms find Adult Abuse forms. Just do NOT sign the last page. This needs to be done in front of the court clerk.

  • You are the Petitioner and the Abuser, Stalker, and/or Offender is considered the Respondent.

  • Having the abusers full name, date of birth, address or place of employment is also important. The judge might not grant an Ex-Parte or Notice of Hearing if you don’t have an address to have the respondent served.  For you to obtain a Full Order of Protection the responded MUST be served within 72 hours of your court date.

  • You DO NOT have to list your address on the petition if you do not want the respondent to know where you live.

  • Keep in mind the respondent will receive a copy of this petition and what is written in it.

  • Question #11 wants you to give a specific date of the most recent abuse and describe it. Basically what has the respondent done to make you afraid for your safety? What made you come in on today’s date to get an order?  Start with the most recent and work your way back. When you are done and you feel like you might be forgetting an incident, you can always put “plus there are other incidents that have occurred”. Remember if you put that the respondent is or has done something to you, write down why that action makes you fearful for your life.

  • Question #12 wants you to describe why you continue to be afraid of the respondent. Describe what you are fear might happen if you are not issued this order of protection and why. This would be appropriate place to tell the judge if this is not an isolated incident or why it might continue to occur if you do not get an order of protection for to stop the abuse / stalking / sexual assault.

  • The clerk will look it over to make sure you qualify.

  • The clerk will take the completed order to the Judge.

  • The Judge will then do one of three things.

  • If the judge finds there is an immediate and present danger of abuse, the court will issue an Ex-Parte order of protection. Which is a temporary protection order and you will need to come back on the issued court date to tell the judge why you need a full order of protection.

  • If the judge does not find evidence of immediate and present danger, you will be issued a Notice of Hearing. You will not have any protection order however; you will come back on your issued court date to tell the judge why you need a full order of protection.

  • If the judge does not feel like you qualify for an order of protection he will deny it. However, if you have another incident with the respondent that falls under the qualifications, then come back in and complete the petition again.

What happens after you are issued an Ex-Parte or Notice of Hearing?


  • The Court Clerks will give you (the petitioner) copies of the order that has been signed by the Judge. We suggest you keep a copy of the Ex-Parte with you all times. You can make extra copies if you need one for your child’s school / daycare, your place of employment and your house.  Please read it carefully. It can contain custody of children or other special orders. It also has a court date that the petitioner MUST appear at.

  • If the respondent violates the Full Order, call the police immediately and show them the Full Order.

  • The Ex-Parte or Notice of Hearing will need to be served. A law enforcement officer typically serves this to the respondent. If the respondent is at your home and you need them removed immediately, contact your local police department for service. You will need to give the officer 3 copies of your petition to be served.

  • If the respondent is not served prior to your court date, you will still need to appear in court. The judge will typically continue it 1-2 times from the initial date.

  • If the respondent still has not been served, you can always look into hiring a special process server. HOWEVER this will be out of pocket for you and you will have to complete the application for a special process server prior to the respondent being served by the special process server. This application will need to be completed at the Cass County Courthouse.

What will happen at the hearing date?


  • There are several things that may happen on the hearing date. It depends on the circumstance of your case. Possibilities include: continuance, dismissed by petitioner, a hearing is held, the respondent consenting to the order, a full order being granted or denied. If you have any questions you may always reach out to a victim advocate and they will assist you with the explanation of the process.

  • Dress appropriately for the court date. No shorts, tank tops, ball caps, or flip flops.

  • Phones are not allowed in the court house. If you have evidence on your phone you will need to get permission from the judge and the court bailiff to bring it in. You will ask this permission to bring it in for evidence when your name is initially called up.

  • Arrive a little early. If you are late the judge may dismiss the case as a failure to appear.



Do I need to have an attorney for the hearing?


You do not need to have an attorney for this hearing. Just know that the respondent has the right to obtain an attorney.

What happens once I get a Full Order of Protection?

  • Full Orders are typically valid for 1 year however, it is up to the Judges discretion. The expiration date is typically on the first page of the full order.

  • This will replace your Ex-Parte paperwork.

  • If the respondent violates the Full Order, call the police immediately and show them the Full Order.

  • Even if you for some reason do not have a copy of your Full Order on you still call the police.

  • This order is now valid in all 50 states.


  • If you need an interpreter you may do so by contacting the Cass County Court Clerks.

  • If you have pictures of injuries or bruises, witnesses, or other evidence, you may bring them to court. Just remember to present / call them to the Judge. The judge will not usually cue you to submit them. Remember that you have to get permission from the Judge and the Bailiff if you have anything electronic. You can NOT bring those into the courts.

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