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Is My Restraining Order Still Effective If I Leave Rhode Island?

Restraining orders are an effective way to protect victims of domestic violence from further abuse. However, what happens if you leave the state of Rhode Island?

In most cases, a Rhode Island restraining order will still protect you if you travel to another state. Under the Violence Against Women Act, protection orders must be recognized and enforced in all state, tribal and territorial courts within the United States.

To qualify, your restraining order must meet certain federal requirements, including:

  • The order was issued to prevent violence or threatening acts, harassing behavior, or sexual violence, or to prevent another person from approaching or contacting you.
  • The court that issued the protective order had proper jurisdiction.
  • The abuser was notified of the order and was afforded an opportunity to rebut the allegations before the court. In the case of an emergency order, it is sufficient that the abuser received notice of the order and will be given the opportunity to tell their side of the story at a future court hearing.

If you are unsure whether your order meets the above criteria, a domestic violence lawyer in Rhode Island can answer your questions and help you obtain the most comprehensive protection possible.

To make it easier to enforce your restraining order out-of-state, it is advisable to carry a certified copy of the order with you at all times. If you are moving to another state or plan to relocate for any length of time, you may also want to register your order in that the state’s protection order registry. Registration is beneficial because law enforcement officers can more quickly verify the validity of the order and take enforcement action. The downside is that your abuser may be notified of the registration and your relocation to another state.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, the Rhode Island restraining orders attorneys of Kirshenbaum Law Associates can help you obtain the protection you need and deserve.