• Published: December 17, 2020
Protecting Yourself And Your Family From Abuse In Kansas.

Every year there are men, women, and children that are put through some very tough situations. If you are facing a situation where you are subject to abuse, here are some steps that you can take to protect you or your loved ones in the Sunflower State.

In Kansas, if there is abuse of either the parent or child, as defined under the Protection from Abuse Act, an individual may request a Protection from Abuse Order by filing a Petition with the Court. The Protection from Abuse Order will protect an individual, or their child(ren) from abuse immediately.

What Is The Legal Definition Of Abuse In Kansas?

Under K.S.A. 60-3102, “abuse” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between intimate partners or household members:

  1. Intentionally attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury.
  2. Intentionally placing, by physical threat, another in fear of imminent bodily injury.
  3. Engaging in any sexual contact or attempted sexual contact with another person without consent or when such person is incapable of giving consent.
  4. Engaging in any of the following acts with a minor under 16 years of age who is not the spouse of the offender:
  • (A). The act of sexual intercourse; or
  • (B). any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the minor or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the minor or the offender, or both.

When Should You File A Petition?

If you, or your child(ren), are subjected to any of the acts defined above (K.S.A. 60-3102) you may want to file a Petition with the Court seeking a Protection from Abuse Order. A sample Petition can be found at https://www.kansasjudicialcouncil.org/legal-forms/protection-orders/protection-abuse/petition-protection-abuse-order. You will want to make sure that the act is between an intimate partner or household member as defined under the Protection from Abuse Act.

What Are Some Examples Of An Intimate Partner Or Household Member?

  • Your spouse or ex-spouse;
  • Someone who lives with you currently, or in the past;
  • Someone who you are currently dating or have dated in the past; or
  • Someone with whom you have a child with.
  • A parent, court-appointed legal custodian/guardian, or an adult living with a minor child can file on behalf of the minor child if the child has been abused by an intimate partner or household member.

Steps in filing a Protection from Abuse OrderSteps In Filing A Protection From Abuse Order:

  1. Fill out necessary paperwork. Contact the Court to get the necessary paperwork to file. An example of that pleading has been provided above.
  2. File the paperwork with the District Court in the county you live in. There is no cost to filing the paperwork seeking a protection order in Kansas.
  3. A Judge will look over your Petition. If necessary, the Judge will issue temporary orders that will restrain the person you are filing against from having any contact with you, or any children that may be involved.
  4. Service of Process – you will need to get the notice of hearing and the petition and supporting paperwork served to the alleged abuser. You should either seek a personal process server or contact the Sheriff’s Department in your county to get the other party served.
  5. Final hearing on the Petition – in general, after 21 days, the Court will have a final hearing on your Petition and the allegations contained in the same. If the alleged abuser does not show, the Court will issue a default order and the Protection from Abuse Orders will be put in place for up to a year. If the alleged abuser does show, the Court will have a full evidentiary hearing to determine if the allegations are true. At this time, you will have to provide evidence to the Court to substantiate your allegations. This may be in the form of witnesses or exhibits. After the Judge hears all of the evidence from both parties, the Judge will either grant or deny the Petition. If it is granted, it will be put in place for up to a year and the Judge may issue other orders as well.

What Protections Can You Get From An Abuse Order In Kansas?

According to K.S.A. 60-3107, the Court may approve any of the following:

  1. Restraining the defendant from abusing, molesting or interfering with the privacy or rights of the plaintiff or of any minor children of the parties. Such order shall contain a statement that if such order is violated, such violation may constitute assault as defined in subsection (a) of K.S.A. 21-5412, and amendments thereto, battery as defined in subsection (a) of K.S.A. 21-5413, and amendments thereto, domestic battery as defined in K.S.A. 21-5414, and amendments thereto, and violation of a protective order as defined in K.S.A. 21-5924, and amendments thereto.
  2. Granting possession of the residence or household to the plaintiff to the exclusion of the defendant, and further restraining the defendant from entering or remaining upon or in such residence or household, subject to the limitation of subsection (d). Such order shall contain a statement that if such order is violated, such violation shall constitute criminal trespass as defined in subsection (a)(1)(C) of K.S.A. 21-5808, and amendments thereto, and violation of a protective order as defined in K.S.A. 21-5924, and amendments thereto. The court may grant an order, which shall expire 60 days following the date of issuance, restraining the defendant from cancelling utility service to the residence or household.
  3. Requiring defendant to provide suitable, alternate housing for the plaintiff and any minor children ofthe parties.
  4. Awarding temporary custody and residency and establishing temporary parenting time with regard to minor children.
  5. Ordering a law enforcement officer to evict the defendant from the residence or household.
  6. Ordering support payments by a party for the support of a party’s minor child, if the party is the father or mother of the child, or the plaintiff, if the plaintiff is married to the defendant. Such support orders shall remain in effect until modified or dismissed by the court or until expiration and shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year. On the motion of the plaintiff, the court may extend the effect of such order for 12 months.
  7. Awarding costs and attorney fees to either party.
  8. Making provision for the possession of personal property of the parties and ordering a law enforcement officer to assist in securing possession of that property, if necessary.
  9. Should I hire an attorneyRequiring any person against whom an order is issued to seek counseling to aid in the cessation of abuse.
  10. Ordering or restraining any other acts deemed necessary to promote the safety of the plaintiff or of any minor children of the parties.
  • (d). If the parties to an action under the protection from abuse act are not married to each other and one party owns the residence or household, the court shall not have the authority to grant possession of the residence or household under subsection (a)(2) to the exclusion of the party who owns it.

Should I Hire An Attorney?

Although not required, we recommend that you retain legal counsel when seeking an order from abuse in Kansas. An attorney will be able to counsel you in every aspect of the case and has experience conducting these types of hearings. At Titus Law Firm, LLC we have a lot of experience handling Protection from Abuse cases. Please contact us to set up a free consultation to help you handle your protection case.

 

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