Protection From Abuse & Restraining Order Guidelines

The following information should be used as a guideline in determining whether or not to refer someone to the Clerk’s Office for assistance.  The effort, is to reduce confusion about what person(s) has in their current situation so that you may be able to provide accurate information.


Restraining Orders

Alabama Law does not allow a Restraining Order to be issued by itself.  A Restraining Order can be issued as a condition in an existing criminal and civil case.  An example to this; filing a motion to have a Restraining Order issued as a condition of a bond.  In situations where a person may inquire about getting a “Restraining Order”, it is best to suggest that he/she consult an attorney.  The Clerk’s Office does not have a mechanism to file a “Request/Complaint for Restraining Order” by itself without an already existing criminal or civil case to file in.


Protection From Abuse

A PFA may be filed by someone who is:

1. 18 years of age or older (or is under the age of 18 and is married or emancipated);

2. A parent / legal guardian / legal custodian of a minor or a person that is physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to seek a PFA on his/her own;

3. Under 18 years of age but married or emancipated and seeking a PFA for himself/herself

A PFA may ONLY be filed against someone if that person is:

1. The filing person’s spouse or former spouse or a common-law spouse;

2. In a dating relationship with the person wishing to file the PFA (must be a recent, frequent, and intimate/sexual association within the past six months);

3. A current or former household member that has or had a romantic/sexual relationship with the person wishing to file the PFA;

4. A person that shares a child in common with the person wishing to file the PFA

A PFA cannot be filed by: 

There must be/been some type of romantic and/or sexual relationship at some point between the parties involved.

1. A parent (or in-law) against a child;

2. A child against a parent (or in-law);

3. A sibling against another sibling