What is a Civil Protection Order?

In certain circumstances, an individual is in need of protection from the court based on the actions of others. Idaho law provides a mechanism for an individual to petition the court protection based on:

1) physical injury, sexual abuse, or forced imprisonment or threat thereof,

2) malicious harassment,

3) stalking in any degree, or

4) telephone harassment.

Each category of abuse that an individual is alleging has different requirements in order to obtain the order for protection.

In the case of physical injury, sexual abuse, or forced imprisonment or threat thereof, the requirements are essentially self-defined. However, it is important to remember that there must be actual physical injury, sexual abuse, or forced imprisonment or threat thereof. The party petitioning the court is under a duty to prove the facts establishing the abuse or the threat of abuse. Moreover, if the petitioner is alleging threat of abuse, the threat must be imminent or close in time to the motion or the petitioner risks the protection order being denied.

In the case of malicious harassment, according to the statute, malicious harassment means to:

  • intimidate or harass another person,
  • to cause physical injury to another person,
  • to damage, destroy or deface real or personal property of another person, or
  • the threat of the foregoing described harassment.

In this category of harassment, an individual can get an order for protection for cross-burnings or the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious or ethnic terrorism on the individual’s property.

An individual can get a protection order for stalking if the offending person is committing acts that would constitute first or second-degree stalking, which can be described as repeated acts of non-consensual contact that alarms, annoys or harasses another person causing the person emotional distress, fear of death, physical injury or fear of death or physical injury of a family or household member.

Telephone harassment is also defined by law and can be described as the use of a telephone to annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass or offend by lewd or profane language, requests, suggestions or proposals, threats of physical harm or disturbing the peace by repeated calls.

As with the first category of protection orders, the individual filing for the protection order is under the burden to prove that the harassing individual has committed the acts that would entitle the petitioner to a protection order against the offending individual. If the order is granted, and the harassing individual does not comply with the order, the individual faces significant fines and penalties.

The petition and affidavit that must be submitted to the court are on the Idaho Supreme Court’s website and can be accessed through this web resource. Although the forms are relatively easy to fill out, getting the protection order granted by the judge requires planning in order to properly present the evidence to get the order granted. If you would like assistance in filing for a civil protection order, contact an Idaho Family Lawyer today.