Petition for Temporary Order of Protection (write-in-the-blank form)
Authored By: Montana Department of Justice
Before You Start
You can use the Petition for Temporary Order of Protection to ask a court for a Temporary Order of Protection (TOP) and schedule a hearing. At the hearing the court will decide whether to keep the Temporary Order of Protection in place, and for how long.
You must file the Petition for Temporary Order of Protection with the Clerk of Court. You may file the Petition in Justice, City, Municipal, or District Court in the county:
- Where the abuse happened;
- Where you live; or,
- Where you fled to escape the abuse.
All courts can include children as protected individuals in Orders of Protection when the Respondent has abused or threatened to abuse the children.
Important: If you and the Respondent are already going to court for a divorce and/or a Parenting Plan, then you should file in the District Court overseeing that case, if the Judge is available. An Order of Protection is not meant to take the place of a Parenting Plan. If you have any questions about where to file, talk to a lawyer.
What Will Happen After I File?
The sheriff will serve the person you file the Order of Protection forms against. There may be free legal help available for people needing an Order of Protection.
Sometimes filing Order of Protection papers can make a situation more dangerous. You are the expert on how to keep you and your family safe. It's a good idea to talk to a Crime Victim Advocate or domestic violence shelter about coming up with your own safety plan. A safety plan can help you think through steps you can take to keep you and your family safe in your daily life. A safety plan can include an Order of Protection.
Need More Information?
If you have any questions about your rights or this form, it would be a good idea to read our article Order of Protection Frequently Asked Questions. You can also check out our article on safety planning.
Need Legal Help?
Montana Legal Services Association provides free civil legal help to eligible clients. Learn more about how to apply for free legal help.