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. Petitions can be obtained at the St. Louis County Court House, 7900 Carondelet, (Street level), Clayton, Missouri or under Adult Abuse Forms.
You are the petitioner; the abuser/stalker is the respondent. You do not have to list your current address on the petition if you don’t want the respondent to know it. The respondent will receive a copy of this petition. You will need 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?
You will need to describe why you continue to be afraid of the respondent. This would be the appropriate place to tell the judge if this was not an isolated incident or why it might continue to occur if you do not take steps to stop the abuse/stalking. Please do not sign the form until you are at the courthouse in front of the clerk.
Presenting the Petition to the Judge
The clerk will present the petition to the Judge. If the Judge finds there is an immediate and present danger of abuse, the court will issue an Ex-Parte Order of Protection. If the Judge does not find evidence of immediate and present danger, you will be issued a Notice of Hearing.
Difference Between an Ex-Parte Order of Protection & Notice of Hearing
- Ex-Parte prohibits the respondent from certain acts
- Notice of Hearing is simply a court date to appear in front of the Judge
Issuance of Either Ex-Parte Order / Notice of Hearing
Once the Ex-Parte or Notice of Hearing is issued, the petitioner will be given copies of it. Please read it carefully. It can contain custody of children or other special orders. It also has a court date when the petitioner must appear.
Keep your Ex-Parte with you at all times. You can make extra copies if you need one for your child’s school/daycare or your employer/landlord. If the respondent violates the order, call the police wherever you are.
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. If the respondent is not served prior to your court date, you will still need to appear in court. Typically a new date will be issued.