If you were granted exclusive possession of your home
(Box 2), and the abuser was not present in court when the Order was
issued, you may need assistance from the police to enforce this remedy. If
the abuser is in or around the home, do not go inside. Call the police and
tell them that you have an Order of Protection, the abuser has not been
served, and that the abuser is in your home. When the police arrive, they
will probably want to see your OP. They should explain the order to the
abuser and then wait while he collects personal items.
If the respondent is not home when you arrive, you
can call the police when he arrives home and they will inform him that an
OP has been entered and what the order says. They will not arrest him, but
now the abuser has
KNOWLEDGE" of the order (see
HOW THE OP IS SERVED). If you
have made extra copies of the OP, you can give one to the police officer
to give him. This is not official service, but will allow him to have a
If you and the respondent shared a home, he may be
allowed into the home on one occasion with a police officer to get his
personal belongings. (If the abuser shows up alone, call the police). The
police should call you and inform you that they are coming. Unless it is
specified in the OP, the respondent is not allowed to take out furniture
or valuables, just personal items.
Suggestions about what to do
when he does come to get his belongings
Place his belongings in bags before he arrives with
the police. This will make the process quicker and easier for you.
Place any valuables, such as jewelry or money, in a
safe place so that the respondent cannot take them while getting his
If you have children, try to get a neighbor or friend
to watch them when the respondent comes to get his belongings. This can be
upsetting for your children or an opportunity for your abuser to use the
children to make you feel guilty. If this is not an option, stay in
another room with the kids and tell the officers to inform you if there is
Avoid any conversation with the respondent.
It is very important to keep your OP
with you at all times. Make several copies and keep one in a safe place.
The print on the order will start to fade after awhile so it is important
to have a legible copy. Give your local police department a copy of your
order (especially if the incident happened somewhere other than where you
live). This gives the police department immediate notice of the existence
of the OP. Give additional copies to security at your workplace,
babysitters, daycare and school, neighbors and any adults who are also
listed on the OP.
If your abuser
destroys your copy of the OP or you lose it, you can get another copy of
your OP from the clerk's office in the courthouse where you received it.