PO Series: How to Enforce Protection Orders

Rebekkah J. Mouw, JD

Applying for and obtaining a protection order is a process and does not happen overnight. Although temporary protection orders may go into place immediately, there is still a court process to keep that order in place. Check out our other articles for more information on how to obtain a protection order and what your day in court looks like. Today, we are going to discuss how to enforce your protection order and what legal ramifications exist for violating a protection order.

When is a protection order enforceable?

As soon as the protection order is served on the respondent (the person the order is against), it is legally enforceable.

What is the punishment for violating a protection order?

It is a crime to violate a protection order, just like it is a crime to steal from a store. A violation of either an ex parte or permanent protection order is grounds for criminal charges and prosecution. Violating a protection order is punishable by up to 1year in jail and a$2,000 fine.

Are protection orders from other states enforceable?

Yes! Protection Orders granted by a judge from another state, jurisdiction, or reservation are enforceable in South Dakota.

How do you report a violation?

Call the police. If it is an emergency, call 911 to report the emergency and violation. If it is a non-emergency, call the station number to report the violation. YOU NEED TO REPORT EVERY VIOLATION. It is important that you continue to stay vigilant and maintain the guidelines of your protection order. If your order prohibits third party contact and that order is violated, be sure to report that as well. Any time a part of your protection order is not followed, make a timely report with the police, regardless if it is an emergency or not.

What happens when I report a violation?

Under South Dakota law, the police are required to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe the protection order was violated. Upon obtaining probable cause, the violator will be jailed and there is then a separate criminal case. Then, a judge will determine if bail is warranted, the bail amount, and any other necessary conditions of bail.

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