Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 455
Abuse--Adults and Children--Shelters and Protective Orders

August 28, 2013




Rape crisis centers, confidentiality of information--employee competency to testify--rape crisis center defined.

455.003. 1. A rape crisis center shall:

(1) Require persons employed by or volunteering services to the rape crisis center to maintain confidentiality of any information that would identify individuals served by the center and any information or records that are directly related to the advocacy services provided to such individuals; and

(2) Prior to providing any advocacy services, inform individuals served by the rape crisis center of the nature and scope of the confidentiality requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection.

2. Any person employed by or volunteering services to a rape crisis center for victims of sexual assault shall be incompetent to testify concerning any confidential information in subsection 1 of this section, unless the confidentiality requirements are* waived in writing by the individual served by the center.

3. As used in this section, the term "rape crisis center" shall mean any public or private agency that offers assistance to victims of sexual assault, as the term sexual assault is defined in section 455.010, who are adults, as defined by section 455.010, or qualified minors, as defined by section 431.056.

(L. 2007 H.B. 583)

*Word "is" appears in original rolls.



Juvenile court records, confidentiality, when.

455.004. In all proceedings pursuant to subsection 3 of section 455.035 or subsection 4 of section 455.513, the records of the juvenile court shall be kept confidential and may be open to inspection without a court order only to:

(1) The juvenile officer;

(2) The officials at the child's school, law enforcement officials, prosecuting attorneys, or any person or agency having or proposed to provide care, custody, or control or to provide treatment of the child; and

(3) A parent or guardian of or court-appointed guardian ad litem for the child.

(L. 2011 S.B. 320 455.800)



Social Security number of respondent included in full orders of protection.

455.005. All full orders of protection issued pursuant to this chapter shall include the Social Security number of the respondent, if known.

(L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al. 455.550)



Mootness doctrine, public interest exception to apply, when.

455.007. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine shall apply to an appeal of a full order of protection which:

(1) Has expired; and

(2) Subjects the person against whom such order is issued to significant collateral consequences by the mere existence of such full order of protection after its expiration.

(L. 2011 H.B. 111)



Definitions.

455.010. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms shall mean:

(1) "Abuse" includes but is not limited to the occurrence of any of the following acts, attempts or threats against a person who may be protected pursuant to this chapter, except abuse shall not include abuse inflicted on a child by accidental means by an adult household member or discipline of a child, including spanking, in a reasonable manner:

(a) "Assault", purposely or knowingly placing or attempting to place another in fear of physical harm;

(b) "Battery", purposely or knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon;

(c) "Coercion", compelling another by force or threat of force to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;

(d) "Harassment", engaging in a purposeful or knowing course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to an adult or child and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable adult or child to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner or child. Such conduct might include, but is not limited to:

a. Following another about in a public place or places;

b. Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of another; but does not include constitutionally protected activity;

(e) "Sexual assault", causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, or duress;

(f) "Unlawful imprisonment", holding, confining, detaining or abducting another person against that person's will;

(2) "Adult", any person seventeen years of age or older or otherwise emancipated;

(3) "Child", any person under seventeen years of age unless otherwise emancipated;

(4) "Court", the circuit or associate circuit judge or a family court commissioner;

(5) "Domestic violence", abuse or stalking committed by a family or household member, as such terms are defined in this section;

(6) "Ex parte order of protection", an order of protection issued by the court before the respondent has received notice of the petition or an opportunity to be heard on it;

(7) "Family" or "household member", spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time;

(8) "Full order of protection", an order of protection issued after a hearing on the record where the respondent has received notice of the proceedings and has had an opportunity to be heard;

(9) "Order of protection", either an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection;

(10) "Pending", exists or for which a hearing date has been set;

(11) "Petitioner", a family or household member who has been a victim of domestic violence, or any person who has been the victim of stalking, or a person filing on behalf of a child pursuant to section 455.503 who has filed a verified petition pursuant to the provisions of section 455.020 or section 455.505;

(12) "Respondent", the family or household member alleged to have committed an act of domestic violence, or person alleged to have committed an act of stalking, against whom a verified petition has been filed or a person served on behalf of a child pursuant to section 455.503;

(13) "Stalking" is when any person purposely and repeatedly engages in an unwanted course of conduct that causes alarm to another person when it is reasonable in that person's situation to have been alarmed by the conduct. As used in this subdivision:

(a) "Alarm" means to cause fear of danger of physical harm;

(b) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of repeated acts over a period of time, however short, that serves no legitimate purpose. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, following the other person or unwanted communication or unwanted contact; and

(c) "Repeated" means two or more incidents evidencing a continuity of purpose.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 1, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1619, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al., A.L. 2004 S.B. 1211, A.L. 2009 H.B. 481, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Venue.

455.015. The petition shall be filed in the county where the petitioner resides, where the alleged incident of domestic violence occurred, or where the respondent may be served.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 1, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Relief may be sought--order of protection effective, where.

455.020. 1. Any person who has been subject to domestic violence by a present or former family or household member, or who has been the victim of stalking, may seek relief under sections 455.010 to 455.085 by filing a verified petition alleging such domestic violence or stalking by the respondent.

2. A person's right to relief under sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall not be affected by the person leaving the residence or household to avoid domestic violence.

3. Any protection order issued pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be effective throughout the state in all cities and counties.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 3, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Duties of circuit clerks--rules, forms, instructions.

455.025. Except as provided under section 455.030, clerks under the supervision of a circuit clerk shall explain to litigants not represented by counsel the procedures for filing all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of their petition to the court. Notice of the fact that clerks will provide such assistance shall be conspicuously posted in the clerks' offices. The location of the office where a petition can be filed shall be conspicuously posted in the court building. The performance of duties prescribed in this section shall not constitute the practice of law as defined in section 484.010. All duties of the clerk prescribed in this section shall be performed without cost to the litigants. The supreme court may promulgate rules as necessary to govern conduct of court clerks under sections 455.010 to 455.085, and shall provide forms for petitions and written instructions on filling out all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of the petition to the court.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 4, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420)



No filing fee, court cost, or bond shall be required.

455.027. No filing fees, court costs, or bond shall be assessed to the petitioner in an action commenced pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.090.

(L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1814, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320)



Filings--certain information not required from petitioner, exception--supreme court shall provide for filing of petitions on holidays, evenings and weekends.

455.030. 1. When the court is unavailable after business hours or on holidays or weekends, a verified petition for protection from domestic violence or a motion for hearing on violation of any order of protection under sections 455.010 to 455.085 may be filed before any available court in the city or county having jurisdiction to hear the petition pursuant to the guidelines developed pursuant to subsection 4 of this section. An ex parte order may be granted pursuant to section 455.035.

2. All papers in connection with the filing of a petition or the granting of an ex parte order of protection or a motion for a hearing on a violation of an order of protection under this section shall be certified by such court or the clerk within the next regular business day to the circuit court having jurisdiction to hear the petition.

3. A petitioner seeking a protection order shall not be required to reveal any current address or place of residence except to the court in camera for the purpose of determining jurisdiction and venue. The petitioner may be required to provide a mailing address unless the petitioner alleges that he or she would be endangered by such disclosure, or that other family or household members would be endangered by such disclosure. Effective January 1, 2004, a petitioner shall not be required to provide his or her Social Security number on any petition or document filed in connection with a protection order; except that, the court may require that a petitioner's Social Security number be retained on a confidential case sheet or other confidential record maintained in conjunction with the administration of the case.

4. The supreme court shall develop guidelines which ensure that a verified petition may be filed on holidays, evenings and weekends.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 5, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1619 merged with S.B. 869, A.L. 2003 H.B. 253 merged with H.B. 613, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Protection order, restraining respondent from abuse if petitioner is permanently or temporarily in state--evidence admissible of prior abuse in or out of state.

455.032. In addition to any other jurisdictional grounds provided by law, a court shall have jurisdiction to enter an order of protection restraining or enjoining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, molesting or disturbing the peace of petitioner, pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085, if the petitioner is present, whether permanently or on a temporary basis within the state of Missouri and if the respondent's actions constituting domestic violence have occurred, have been attempted or have been or are threatened within the state of Missouri. For purposes of this section, if the petitioner has been the subject of domestic violence within or outside of the state of Missouri, such evidence shall be admissible to demonstrate the need for protection in Missouri.

(L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Protection orders--ex parte.

455.035. 1. Upon the filing of a verified petition pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 and for good cause shown in the petition, the court may immediately issue an ex parte order of protection. An immediate and present danger of domestic violence to the petitioner or the child on whose behalf the petition is filed shall constitute good cause for purposes of this section. An ex parte order of protection entered by the court shall take effect when entered and shall remain in effect until there is valid service of process and a hearing is held on the motion. The court shall deny the ex parte order and dismiss the petition if the petitioner is not authorized to seek relief pursuant to section 455.020.

2. Failure to serve an ex parte order of protection on the respondent shall not affect the validity or enforceability of such order. If the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, unless otherwise emancipated, service of process shall be made upon a custodial parent or guardian of the respondent, or upon a guardian ad litem appointed by the court, requiring that the person appear and bring the respondent before the court at the time and place stated.

3. If an ex parte order is entered and the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, the court shall transfer the case to juvenile court for a hearing on a full order of protection. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for any such respondent not represented by a parent or guardian.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 6, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1619, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Ex parte orders, notification--circuit clerks to provide information on.

455.038. Every circuit clerk shall be responsible for providing information to individuals petitioning for ex parte orders of protection regarding notification of service of these orders of protection. Such notification to the petitioner is required if the petitioner has registered a telephone number with the victim notification system, established under subsection 3 of section 650.310. The petitioner shall be informed of his or her option to receive notification of service of an ex parte order of protection on the respondent by the circuit clerk and shall be provided information on how to receive notification of service of ex parte orders of protection. The local law enforcement agency or any other government agency responsible for serving ex parte orders of protection shall enter service information into the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or future secure electronic databases that are intended for law enforcement use within twenty-four hours after the ex parte order is served on the respondent or shall notify the circuit clerk when no more service attempts are planned by that agency. The provisions of this section shall only apply to those circuit clerks able to access a statewide victim notification system designed to provide notification of service of orders of protection.

(L. 2007 H.B. 583, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320)



Hearings, when--duration of orders, renewal, requirements--copies of orders to be given, validity--duties of law enforcement agency--information entered in MULES.

455.040. 1. Not later than fifteen days after the filing of a petition that meets the requirements of section 455.020, a hearing shall be held unless the court deems, for good cause shown, that a continuance should be granted. At the hearing, if the petitioner has proved the allegation of domestic violence or stalking by a preponderance of the evidence, and the respondent cannot show that his or her actions alleged to constitute abuse were otherwise justified under the law, the court shall issue a full order of protection for a period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year. Upon motion by the petitioner, and after a hearing by the court, the full order of protection may be renewed for a period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year from the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection. The court may, upon finding that it is in the best interest of the parties, include a provision that any full order of protection for one year shall automatically renew unless the respondent requests a hearing by thirty days prior to the expiration of the order. If for good cause a hearing cannot be held on the motion to renew or the objection to an automatic renewal of the full order of protection prior to the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection, an ex parte order of protection may be issued until a hearing is held on the motion. When an automatic renewal is not authorized, upon motion by the petitioner, and after a hearing by the court, the second full order of protection may be renewed for an additional period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year. For purposes of this subsection, a finding by the court of a subsequent act of domestic violence or stalking is not required for a renewal order of protection.

2. The court shall cause a copy of the petition and notice of the date set for the hearing on such petition and any ex parte order of protection to be served upon the respondent as provided by law or by any sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. The court shall cause a copy of any full order of protection to be served upon or mailed by certified mail to the respondent at the respondent's last known address. Notice of an ex parte or full order of protection shall be served at the earliest time, and service of such notice shall take priority over service in other actions, except those of a similar emergency nature. Failure to serve or mail a copy of the full order of protection to the respondent shall not affect the validity or enforceability of a full order of protection.

3. A copy of any order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be issued to the petitioner and to the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides. The clerk shall also issue a copy of any order of protection to the local law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or any other comparable law enforcement system the same day the order is granted. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES shall, for purposes of verification, within twenty-four hours from the time the order is granted, enter information contained in the order including but not limited to any orders regarding child custody or visitation and all specifics as to times and dates of custody or visitation that are provided in the order. A notice of expiration or of termination of any order of protection or any change in child custody or visitation within that order shall be issued to the local law enforcement agency and to the law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES or any other comparable law enforcement system. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the applicable law enforcement system shall enter such information in the system within twenty-four hours of receipt of information evidencing such expiration or termination. The information contained in an order of protection may be entered in the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or comparable law enforcement system using a direct automated data transfer from the court automated system to the law enforcement system.

4. The court shall cause a copy of any objection filed by the respondent and notice of the date set for the hearing on such objection to an automatic renewal of a full order of protection for a period of one year to be personally served upon the petitioner by personal process server as provided by law or by a sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. Such service of process shall be served at the earliest time and shall take priority over service in other actions except those of a similar emergency nature.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 7, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485, A.L. 1996 S.B. 869, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2001 S.B. 267, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Temporary relief available.

455.045. Any ex parte order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be to protect the petitioner from domestic violence or stalking and may include:

(1) Restraining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, molesting, stalking or disturbing the peace of the petitioner;

(2) Restraining the respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling unit of petitioner when the dwelling unit is:

(a) Jointly owned, leased or rented or jointly occupied by both parties; or

(b) Owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner individually; or

(c) Jointly owned, leased or rented by petitioner and a person other than respondent; provided, however, no spouse shall be denied relief pursuant to this section by reason of the absence of a property interest in the dwelling unit; or

(d) Jointly occupied by the petitioner and a person other than the respondent; provided that the respondent has no property interest in the dwelling unit;

(3) Restraining the respondent from communicating with the petitioner in any manner or through any medium;

(4) A temporary order of custody of minor children where appropriate.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 8, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al., A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Full or ex parte order of protection, abuse or stalking, contents--relief available.

455.050. 1. Any full or ex parte order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be to protect the petitioner from domestic violence and may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the petitioner's safety, including but not limited to:

(1) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, molesting, stalking or disturbing the peace of the petitioner;

(2) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling unit of the petitioner when the dwelling unit is:

(a) Jointly owned, leased or rented or jointly occupied by both parties; or

(b) Owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner individually; or

(c) Jointly owned, leased, rented or occupied by petitioner and a person other than respondent; provided, however, no spouse shall be denied relief pursuant to this section by reason of the absence of a property interest in the dwelling unit; or

(d) Jointly occupied by the petitioner and a person other than respondent; provided that the respondent has no property interest in the dwelling unit; or

(3) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from communicating with the petitioner in any manner or through any medium.

2. Mutual orders of protection are prohibited unless both parties have properly filed written petitions and proper service has been made in accordance with sections 455.010 to 455.085.

3. When the court has, after a hearing for any full order of protection, issued an order of protection, it may, in addition:

(1) Award custody of any minor child born to or adopted by the parties when the court has jurisdiction over such child and no prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made, and the best interests of the child require such order be issued;

(2) Establish a visitation schedule that is in the best interests of the child;

(3) Award child support in accordance with supreme court rule 88.01 and chapter 452;

(4) Award maintenance to petitioner when petitioner and respondent are lawfully married in accordance with chapter 452;

(5) Order respondent to make or to continue to make rent or mortgage payments on a residence occupied by the petitioner if the respondent is found to have a duty to support the petitioner or other dependent household members;

(6) Order the respondent to pay the petitioner's rent at a residence other than the one previously shared by the parties if the respondent is found to have a duty to support the petitioner and the petitioner requests alternative housing;

(7) Order that the petitioner be given temporary possession of specified personal property, such as automobiles, checkbooks, keys, and other personal effects;

(8) Prohibit the respondent from transferring, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of specified property mutually owned or leased by the parties;

(9) Order the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program designed to help batterers stop violent behavior or to participate in a substance abuse treatment program;

(10) Order the respondent to pay a reasonable fee for housing and other services that have been provided or that are being provided to the petitioner by a shelter for victims of domestic violence;

(11) Order the respondent to pay court costs;

(12) Order the respondent to pay the cost of medical treatment and services that have been provided or that are being provided to the petitioner as a result of injuries sustained to the petitioner by an act of domestic violence committed by the respondent.

4. A verified petition seeking orders for maintenance, support, custody, visitation, payment of rent, payment of monetary compensation, possession of personal property, prohibiting the transfer, encumbrance, or disposal of property, or payment for services of a shelter for victims of domestic violence, shall contain allegations relating to those orders and shall pray for the orders desired.

5. In making an award of custody, the court shall consider all relevant factors including the presumption that the best interests of the child will be served by placing the child in the custody and care of the nonabusive parent, unless there is evidence that both parents have engaged in abusive behavior, in which case the court shall not consider this presumption but may appoint a guardian ad litem or a court-appointed special advocate to represent the children in accordance with chapter 452 and shall consider all other factors in accordance with chapter 452.

6. The court shall grant to the noncustodial parent rights to visitation with any minor child born to or adopted by the parties, unless the court finds, after hearing, that visitation would endanger the child's physical health, impair the child's emotional development or would otherwise conflict with the best interests of the child, or that no visitation can be arranged which would sufficiently protect the custodial parent from further domestic violence. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate to represent the minor child in accordance with chapter 452 whenever the custodial parent alleges that visitation with the noncustodial parent will damage the minor child.

7. The court shall make an order requiring the noncustodial party to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for the support of any child to whom the party owes a duty of support when no prior order of support is outstanding and after all relevant factors have been considered, in accordance with Missouri supreme court rule 88.01 and chapter 452.

8. The court may grant a maintenance order to a party for a period of time, not to exceed one hundred eighty days. Any maintenance ordered by the court shall be in accordance with chapter 452.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 9, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al., A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Assignment of wages.

455.055. The court may order the person obligated to pay support or maintenance to make an assignment of a part of his periodic earnings or other income to the person entitled to receive the payments in accordance with chapter 452.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 10, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174)



Modification of orders, when--termination, when--appeal--custody of children, may not be changed, when.

455.060. 1. After notice and hearing, the court may modify an order of protection at any time, upon subsequent motion filed by the guardian ad litem, the court-appointed special advocate or by either party together with an affidavit showing a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant the modification. All full orders of protection shall be final orders and appealable and shall be for a fixed period of time as provided in section 455.040.

2. Any order for child support, custody, temporary custody, visitation or maintenance entered under sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall terminate prior to the time fixed in the order upon the issuance of a subsequent order pursuant to chapter 452 or any other Missouri statute.

3. No order entered pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall be res judicata to any subsequent proceeding, including, but not limited to, any action brought under chapter 452.

4. All provisions of an order of protection shall terminate upon entry of a decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation except as to those provisions which require the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program or enjoin the respondent from committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner and which enjoin the respondent from entering the premises of the dwelling unit of the petitioner as described in the order of protection when the petitioner continues to reside in that dwelling unit unless the respondent is awarded possession of the dwelling unit pursuant to a decree of dissolution of marriage or legal separation.

5. Any order of protection or order for child support, custody, temporary custody, visitation or maintenance entered under sections 455.010 to 455.085 shall terminate upon the order of the court granting a motion to terminate the order of protection by the petitioner. Prior to terminating any order of protection, the court may inquire of the petitioner or others in order to determine whether the dismissal is voluntary.

6. The order of protection may not change the custody of children when an action for dissolution of marriage has been filed or the custody has previously been awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 11, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1814, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Subsequent modification of orders.

455.065. 1. Provisions of any order respecting maintenance or support may be modified only as to installments occurring subsequent to the motion for modification and only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.

2. Provisions of any order respecting custody may be modified only if the court finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

3. Provisions of any order respecting visitation may be modified when the modification would serve the best interests of the child.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 12)



Foreign order of protection to be given full faith and credit--registration of order, content, procedure.

455.067. 1. Any order of protection issued by any other state, tribe, territory or possession of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia shall be given full faith and credit throughout the state in all courts, and by all law enforcement officials and agencies, and all public officials and shall be enforceable in the same manner as any order of protection issued by a court in this state.

2. A person entitled to protection under a foreign order of protection as described in subsection 1 of this section may file a certified copy of the foreign order of protection and an affidavit or sworn statement from the petitioner that the copy of the foreign order is a true and accurate copy and has not been altered in the circuit court having jurisdiction. If the foreign order of protection terminates prior to the expiration date on the order, the petitioner shall notify the circuit court. A foreign order of protection as described in subsection 1 of this section shall be enforceable in this state so long as it is in effect in the issuing state.

3. Filing of the foreign order of protection shall be without fee or cost.

4. Registration and a Missouri court order recognizing a foreign order of protection shall not be required for the enforcement of a certified foreign order of protection in this state.

(L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al., A.L. 2002 H.B. 1814)



Proceedings independent of others.

455.070. All proceedings under sections 455.010 to 455.085 are independent of any proceedings for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, separate maintenance and other actions between the parties and are in addition to any other available civil or criminal remedies, unless otherwise specifically provided herein.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 13)



Supreme court to develop and adopt uniform forms for petitions and orders of protection, content--forms to be provided to each circuit clerk.

455.073. 1. By July 1, 1996, the supreme court of the state of Missouri shall:

(1) Develop and adopt uniform forms for petitions and orders of protection; and

(2) Provide the forms to each circuit clerk.

2. The following statements shall be printed in bold faced type or in capital letters on the order of protection:

(1) "Violation of this order may be punished by confinement in jail for as long as five years and by a fine of as much as five thousand dollars"; and

(2) "If so ordered by the court, the respondent is forbidden to enter or stay at the petitioner's residence".

3. The form prescribed by the supreme court for the notice of hearing required by subsection 2 of section 455.040 shall list all potential relief that can be granted by the court in any proceeding pursuant to sections 455.010 to 455.085 as described in section 455.050, and shall advise the respondent that such relief may be granted if the court finds for the petitioner, or if the respondent defaults to the petition.

4. All orders of protection shall be issued on the form adopted pursuant to subsection 1 of this section.

(L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485)



Attorney's fees, cost.

455.075. The court may order a party to pay a reasonable amount to the other party for attorney's fees incurred prior to the commencement of the proceeding or after entry of judgment. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including the financial resources of both parties, and may order that the amount be paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the order in his name.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 14, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1814)



Law enforcement agencies response to alleged incidents of domestic violence or stalking--factors indicating need for immediate response--establishment of crisis team--transportation of abused party to medical treatment or shelter.

455.080. 1. Law enforcement agencies may establish procedures to ensure that dispatchers and officers at the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence or stalking or violation of an order of protection can be informed of any recorded prior incident of domestic violence or stalking involving the abused party and can verify the effective dates and terms of any recorded order of protection.

2. The law enforcement agency shall apply the same standard for response to an alleged incident of domestic violence or stalking or a violation of any order of protection as applied to any like offense involving strangers, except as otherwise provided by law. Law enforcement agencies shall not assign lower priority to calls involving alleged incidents of domestic violence or stalking or violation of protection orders than is assigned in responding to offenses involving strangers. Existence of any of the following factors shall be interpreted as indicating a need for immediate response:

(1) The caller indicates that violence is imminent or in progress; or

(2) A protection order is in effect; or

(3) The caller indicates that incidents of domestic violence have occurred previously between the parties.

3. Law enforcement agencies may establish domestic crisis teams or, if the agency has fewer than five officers whose responsibility it is to respond to calls of this nature, individual officers trained in methods of dealing with domestic violence. Such teams or individuals may be supplemented by social workers, ministers or other persons trained in counseling or crisis intervention. When an alleged incident of domestic violence is reported, the agency may dispatch a crisis team or specially trained officer, if available, to the scene of the incident.

4. The officer at the scene of an alleged incident of domestic violence or stalking shall inform the abused party of available judicial remedies for relief from domestic violence and of available shelters for victims of domestic violence.

5. Law enforcement officials at the scene shall provide or arrange transportation for the abused party to a medical facility for treatment of injuries or to a place of shelter or safety.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 15, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Law enforcement officer may rely on copy of protection order.

455.083. A law enforcement officer in this state may rely upon a copy of any order of protection issued under sections 455.010 to 455.085 or a certified foreign order of protection which has been provided to the peace officer from any source, in determining action to be taken pursuant to sections 455.080 and 455.085.

(L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485, A.L. 1999 S.B. 1, et al.)



Arrest for violation of order--penalties--good faith immunity for law enforcement officials.

455.085. 1. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a party has committed a violation of law amounting to domestic violence, as defined in section 455.010, against a family or household member, the officer may arrest the offending party whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the arresting officer. When the officer declines to make arrest pursuant to this subsection, the officer shall make a written report of the incident completely describing the offending party, giving the victim's name, time, address, reason why no arrest was made and any other pertinent information. Any law enforcement officer subsequently called to the same address within a twelve-hour period, who shall find probable cause to believe the same offender has again committed a violation as stated in this subsection against the same or any other family or household member, shall arrest the offending party for this subsequent offense. The primary report of nonarrest in the preceding twelve-hour period may be considered as evidence of the defendant's intent in the violation for which arrest occurred. The refusal of the victim to sign an official complaint against the violator shall not prevent an arrest under this subsection.

2. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a party, against whom a protective order has been entered and who has notice of such order entered, has committed an act of abuse in violation of such order, the officer shall arrest the offending party-respondent whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the arresting officer. Refusal of the victim to sign an official complaint against the violator shall not prevent an arrest under this subsection.

3. When an officer makes an arrest, the officer is not required to arrest two parties involved in an assault when both parties claim to have been assaulted. The arresting officer shall attempt to identify and shall arrest the party the officer believes is the primary physical aggressor. The term "primary physical aggressor" is defined as the most significant, rather than the first, aggressor. The law enforcement officer shall consider any or all of the following in determining the primary physical aggressor:

(1) The intent of the law to protect victims from continuing domestic violence;

(2) The comparative extent of injuries inflicted or serious threats creating fear of physical injury;

(3) The history of domestic violence between the persons involved.

No law enforcement officer investigating an incident of domestic violence shall threaten the arrest of all parties for the purpose of discouraging requests or law enforcement intervention by any party. Where complaints are received from two or more opposing parties, the officer shall evaluate each complaint separately to determine whether the officer should seek a warrant for an arrest.

4. In an arrest in which a law enforcement officer acted in good faith reliance on this section, the arresting and assisting law enforcement officers and their employing entities and superiors shall be immune from liability in any civil action alleging false arrest, false imprisonment or malicious prosecution.

5. When a person against whom an order of protection has been entered fails to surrender custody of minor children to the person to whom custody was awarded in an order of protection, the law enforcement officer shall arrest the respondent, and shall turn the minor children over to the care and custody of the party to whom such care and custody was awarded.

6. The same procedures, including those designed to protect constitutional rights, shall be applied to the respondent as those applied to any individual detained in police custody.

7. A violation of the terms and conditions, with regard to domestic violence, stalking, child custody, communication initiated by the respondent or entrance upon the premises of the petitioner's dwelling unit or place of employment or school, or being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner, of an ex parte order of protection of which the respondent has notice, shall be a class A misdemeanor unless the respondent has previously pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty in any division of the circuit court of violating an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation, in which case the subsequent violation shall be a class D felony. Evidence of prior pleas of guilty or findings of guilt shall be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to submission of the case to the jury. If the court finds the existence of such prior pleas of guilty or finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall decide the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition and shall not instruct the jury as to the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess and declare the punishment as a part of its verdict.

8. A violation of the terms and conditions, with regard to domestic violence, stalking, child custody, communication initiated by the respondent or entrance upon the premises of the petitioner's dwelling unit or place of employment or school, or being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner, of a full order of protection shall be a class A misdemeanor, unless the respondent has previously pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty in any division of the circuit court of violating an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation, in which case the subsequent violation shall be a class D felony. Evidence of prior pleas of guilty or findings of guilt shall be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to submission of the case to the jury. If the court finds the existence of such prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall decide the extent or duration of the sentence or other disposition and shall not instruct the jury as to the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess and declare the punishment as a part of its verdict. For the purposes of this subsection, in addition to the notice provided by actual service of the order, a party is deemed to have notice of an order of protection if the law enforcement officer responding to a call of a reported incident of domestic violence, stalking, or violation of an order of protection presented a copy of the order of protection to the respondent.

9. Good faith attempts to effect a reconciliation of a marriage shall not be deemed tampering with a witness or victim tampering under section 575.270.

10. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as creating a private cause of action for damages to enforce the provisions set forth herein.

(L. 1980 S.B. 524 16, A.L. 1986 S.B. 450, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1993 H.B. 476 & 194, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al., A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Jurisdiction, duration--enforceability of orders.

455.090. 1. The court shall retain jurisdiction over the full order of protection issued under this chapter for its entire duration. The court may schedule compliance review hearings to monitor the respondent's compliance with the order.

2. The terms of the order of protection issued under this chapter are enforceable by all remedies available at law for the enforcement of a judgment, and the court may punish a respondent who willfully violates the order of protection to the same extent as provided by law for contempt of the court in any other suit or proceeding cognizable by the court.

(L. 2004 S.B. 1211)



Definitions.

455.200. As used in sections 455.200 to 455.230, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words and phrases mean:

(1) "Designated authority", the board, commission, agency, or other body designated under the provisions of section 488.445 as the authority to administer the allocation and distribution of funds to shelters;

(2) "Shelter for victims of domestic violence" or "shelter", a facility established for the purpose of providing temporary residential service or facilities to family or household members who are victims of domestic violence.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1069 2, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320)



Administration by designated authority, how established--powers--expense, limitation.

455.210. The governing body of the city or county shall designate in the order or ordinance imposing the fees, as provided in section 455.205*, an appropriate board, commission, agency or other body of the county, or city, as the authority to administer the allocation and distribution of the funds to shelters for victims of domestic violence in the manner provided in sections 455.200 to 455.230. The members of the designated authority may be reimbursed from the special fund for moneys actually and necessarily expended in the performance of their duties under the provisions of sections 455.200 to 455.230, but not more than five percent of the fees collected pursuant to section 455.205* may be used for such purposes.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1069 4)

*Transferred 2000; now 488.445



Applications for shelter funding, contents, when filed--payments from fund made when.

455.215. 1. A shelter for victims of domestic violence may apply to the designated authority for funds to be used for the funding of the shelter. All applications shall be submitted by the first day of October of the year preceding the calendar year for which the funding is desired, and shall include all of the following:

(1) Evidence that the shelter is incorporated in this state as a nonprofit corporation;

(2) A list of the directors of the corporation, and a list of the trustees of the shelter if different;

(3) The proposed budget of the shelter for the following calendar year;

(4) A summary of the services proposed to be offered in the following calendar year;

(5) An estimate of the number of persons to be served during the following calendar year.

2. Upon receipt of an application for funds from a shelter that meets the criteria set forth in section 455.220, the designated authority, on or before the fifteenth day of November of the year in which the application is filed, shall notify the shelter, in writing, whether it is eligible to receive funds, and if the shelter is eligible, specify the amount available for that shelter from the fees collected pursuant to section 455.205*.

3. Funds allocated to shelters pursuant to this section shall be paid to the shelters twice annually, on the first day of January and the first day of July of the years following the year in which the application is filed.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1069 5)

*Transferred 2000; now 488.445



Requirements for shelter to qualify for funds.

455.220. 1. To qualify for funds allocated and distributed pursuant to section 455.215 a shelter shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Be incorporated in the state as a nonprofit corporation;

(2) Have trustees who represent the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the community to be served, at least one of whom must possess personal experience in confronting or mitigating the problems of domestic violence;

(3) Receive at least twenty-five percent of its funds from sources other than funds distributed pursuant to section 455.215. These other sources may be public or private and may include contributions of goods or services, including materials, commodities, transportation, office space or other types of facilities or personal services;

(4) Provide residential service or facilities for children when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or custodian who is a victim of domestic violence and who is receiving temporary residential service at the shelter;

(5) Require persons employed by or volunteering services to the shelter to maintain the confidentiality of any information that would identify individuals served by the shelter and any information or records that are directly related to the advocacy services provided to such individuals;

(6) Prior to providing any advocacy services, inform individuals served by the shelter of the nature and scope of the confidentiality requirement in subdivision (5) of this subsection.

2. Any person employed by or volunteering services to a shelter for victims of domestic violence shall be incompetent to testify concerning any confidential information described in subdivision (5) of subsection 1 of this section, unless the confidentiality requirement is waived in writing by the individual served by the shelter.

3. A shelter does not qualify for funds if it discriminates in its admissions or provision of services on the basis of race, religion, color, age, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1069 6, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al.)

(2004) Confidentiality requirements of section are not legally recognized privileged communications within meaning of section 210.140. State ex rel. Hope House, Inc. v. Merrigan, 133 S.W.3d 44 (Mo.banc).



Shelter request exceeding funds, allocation priorities.

455.225. If a designated authority receives applications from more than one qualified shelter for victims of domestic violence and the requests for the funds exceed the amount of funds available, funds shall be allocated on the basis of the following priorities:

(1) To shelters in existence on August 13, 1982;

(2) To shelters offering or proposing to offer the broadest range of services and referrals to the community served, including medical, psychological, financial, educational, vocational, child care services and legal services;

(3) To other facilities offering or proposing to offer services specifically to victims of physical domestic violence;

(4) To other qualified shelters.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1069 7)



Annual reports by shelters, contents--confidentiality--child assessment center established by department.

455.230. 1. A shelter for victims of domestic violence that receives funds pursuant to sections 455.200 to 455.230 shall file an annual report with the designated authority of the county, or of the city not within a county, in which it is located, on or before the thirty-first day of March of the year following the year in which funds were received. The annual report shall include statistics on the number of persons served by the shelter, the relationship of the victim of domestic violence to the abuser, the number of referrals made for medical, psychological, financial, educational, vocational, child care services or legal services, and shall include the results of an independent audit. No information contained in the report shall identify any person served by the shelter or enable any person to determine the identity of any such person. Any information contained in the report that is directly related to advocacy services provided by the shelter shall not be construed as a violation of section 455.220. Any shelter for victims of domestic violence as defined in this chapter may apply to the department of public safety for a grant to provide funds for the renovation, construction and improvement of such shelter on a 75/25 state/local match rate, subject to appropriation.

2. The designated authority shall compile the reports filed pursuant to subsection 1 of this section annually.

3. In addition to any shelter funded under said section, subject to appropriation, the department of social services shall fund a child assessment center to serve the needs of children from families in conflict and from domestic violence to be located in any county of the first classification without a charter form of government with a population of more than one hundred sixty thousand but less than two hundred thousand.

(L. 1982 H.B. 1069 8, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al.)



Missouri domestic violence commission established--members, meetings, rules.

455.300. 1. There is hereby established the "Missouri Domestic Violence Commission" within the department of public safety, to study solutions for domestic violence in Missouri. The commission shall be composed of the following members:

(1) One judge of a juvenile court, who shall be appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court;

(2) One judge of a family court, who shall be appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court;

(3) Nine members of the general public, five of whom shall represent domestic violence providers and one of whom shall represent a statewide coalition against domestic violence. All members shall serve for as long as they hold the position which made them eligible for appointment to the Missouri domestic violence commission under this subsection. All members shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties for the commission.

2. All meetings of the Missouri domestic violence commission shall be open to the public and shall, for all purposes, be deemed open public meetings under the provisions of sections 610.010 to 610.030. The Missouri domestic violence commission shall meet no less than once every two months, and shall hold its first meeting no later than sixty days after January 1, 2001. Notice of all meetings of the commission shall be given to the general assembly in the same manner required for notifying the general public of meetings of the general assembly.

3. The Missouri domestic violence commission may make all rules it deems necessary to enable it to conduct its meetings, elect its officers, and set the terms and duties of its officers.

4. The commission shall elect from amongst its members a chairman, vice chairman, a secretary-reporter, and such other officers as it deems necessary.

5. The services of the personnel of any agency from which the director or deputy director is a member of the commission shall be made available to the commission at the discretion of such director or deputy director. All meetings of the commission shall be held in the state of Missouri.

6. The commission, by majority vote, may invite individuals representing local and federal agencies or private organizations and the general public to serve as ex officio members of the commission. Such individuals shall not have a vote in commission business and shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for all actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties for the commission.

(L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al.)



Domestic violence intervention/rehabilitation pilot projects--purpose, funding, rules.

455.305. 1. Beginning in 2001, the department of social services and the Missouri domestic violence commission established pursuant to this chapter, shall establish and administer up to twenty domestic violence intervention/rehabilitation pilot projects. Such projects shall operate as satellite projects through existing domestic violence prevention facilities where no such facilities exist for the following purposes:

(1) To implement, expand, and establish cooperative efforts between law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim advocacy groups, and other related parties to investigate and prosecute incidents of domestic violence;

(2) To prevent domestic violence and provide immediate shelter for victims of domestic violence;

(3) To provide treatment and counseling to victims of domestic violence; and

(4) To work in cooperation with the community to develop education and prevention strategies regarding domestic violence.

2. Funding for the pilot programs shall be subject to appropriation.

3. The department and the commission shall promulgate rules and regulations, pursuant to chapter 536, to implement, administer, and monitor the pilot projects. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to dely the effective date or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2000, shall be invalid and void.

4. Beginning in 2001, the department and the commission shall submit an annual report of its activities to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president pro tem of the senate, and the governor before December thirty-first of each year.

(L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al.)



Citation of law.

455.500. Sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be known and may be cited as the "Child Protection Orders Act".

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 1)



Venue--petition, who may file.

455.503. 1. A petition for an order of protection for a child shall be filed in the county where the child resides, where the alleged incident of domestic violence or stalking occurred, or where the respondent may be served.

2. Such petition may be filed by any of the following:

(1) A parent or guardian of the victim;

(2) A guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate appointed for the victim; or

(3) The juvenile officer.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 3, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Court clerks to furnish petitioners with uniform forms and information to litigants having no counsel on procedure, filing forms and pleadings--services of clerks and location of office to file petition to be posted--rules--no fees required--guardian ad litem or CASA to be provided copy of petition.

455.504. 1. The clerk of the court shall make available to the petitioner the uniform forms adopted by the supreme court pursuant to section 455.073. Except as provided in section 455.510, clerks under the supervision of a circuit clerk shall explain to litigants not represented by counsel the procedures for filing all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of their petition filed pursuant to the provisions of sections 455.500 to 455.538 to the court. Notice of the fact that clerks will provide such assistance shall be conspicuously posted in the clerks' offices. The location of the office where a petition can be filed shall be conspicuously posted in the court building. The performance of duties prescribed in this section shall not constitute the practice of law as defined in section 484.010. All duties of the clerk prescribed in this section shall be performed without cost to the litigants. The supreme court may promulgate rules as necessary to govern conduct of court clerks under sections 455.500 to 455.538, and shall provide forms for petitions and written instructions on filling out all forms and pleadings necessary for the presentation of the petition to the court.

2. No filing fees, court costs, or bond shall be assessed to the petitioner in an action commenced under sections 455.500 to 455.538.

3. The clerk shall immediately notify the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate of appointment and shall provide such guardian or advocate with a copy of the petition for the order of protection for the child. The clerk shall provide such guardian or advocate with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the parties within twenty-four hours of entry of the order appointing the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate.

(L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 2002 H.B. 1814, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613)



Relief may be sought for child for domestic violence or child being stalked--order of protection effective, where.

455.505. 1. An order of protection for a child who has been subject to domestic violence by a present or former household member or person stalking the child may be sought under sections 455.500 to 455.538 by the filing of a verified petition alleging such domestic violence or stalking by the respondent.

2. A child's right to relief under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall not be affected by the child's leaving the residence or household to avoid domestic violence.

3. Any protection order issued pursuant to sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be effective throughout the state in all cities and counties.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 4, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Filings--information required from petitioner.

455.510. 1. When the court is unavailable after business hours or on holidays or weekends, a verified petition for protection from abuse or a motion for hearing on violation of any order of protection under sections 455.500 to 455.538 may be filed before any available court in the city or county having jurisdiction to hear the petition. An ex parte order may be granted pursuant to section 455.513.

2. All papers in connection with the filing of a petition or the granting of an ex parte order of protection or a motion for a hearing on a violation of an order of protection under this section shall be certified by such court or the clerk within the next regular business day to the circuit court having jurisdiction to hear the petition.

3. A petitioner seeking a protection order for a child shall not be required to reveal any current address or place of residence of the child except to the court in camera for the purpose of determining jurisdiction and venue. The petitioner may be required to provide a mailing address unless the petitioner alleges that the child would be endangered by such disclosure, or that other household members would be endangered by such disclosure.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 6, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1619)

Effective 5-15-96



Ex parte orders, issued when, effective when--for good cause shown, defined--investigation by children's division, when--report due when, available to whom--transfer to juvenile court, when.

455.513. 1. Upon the filing of a verified petition under sections 455.500 to 455.538, for good cause shown in the petition, and upon finding that no prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made or that the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, the court may immediately issue an ex parte order of protection. An immediate and present danger of domestic violence or stalking to a child shall constitute good cause for purposes of this section. An ex parte order of protection entered by the court shall be in effect until the time of the hearing. The court shall deny the ex parte order and dismiss the petition if the petitioner is not authorized to seek relief pursuant to section 455.505.

2. Upon the entry of the ex parte order of protection, the court shall enter its order appointing a guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate to represent the child victim.

3. If the allegations in the petition would give rise to jurisdiction under section 211.031, the court may direct the children's division to conduct an investigation and to provide appropriate services. The division shall submit a written investigative report to the court and to the juvenile officer within thirty days of being ordered to do so. The report shall be made available to the parties and the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate.

4. If the allegations in the petition would give rise to jurisdiction under section 211.031 because the respondent is less than seventeen years of age, the court may issue an ex parte order and shall transfer the case to juvenile court for a hearing on a full order of protection. Service of process shall be made pursuant to section 455.035.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 7, A.L. 1989 H.B. 502, et al., A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1619, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Hearings, when, procedure, standard of proof--duration of orders--videotaped testimony permitted--renewal of orders, when--service of respondent, failure to serve not to affect validity of order--notice to law enforcement agencies--service of process.

455.516. 1. Not later than fifteen days after the filing of a petition under sections 455.500 to 455.538, a hearing shall be held unless the court deems, for good cause shown, that a continuance should be granted. At the hearing, which may be an open or a closed hearing at the discretion of the court, whichever is in the best interest of the child, if the petitioner has proved the allegation of domestic violence against a child by a preponderance of the evidence, the court may issue a full order of protection for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year. The court may allow as evidence any in camera videotape made of the testimony of the child pursuant to section 491.699. The provisions of section 491.075 relating to admissibility of statements of a child under the age of fourteen shall apply to any hearing under the provisions of sections 455.500 to 455.538. Upon motion by either party, the guardian ad litem or the court-appointed special advocate, and after a hearing by the court, the full order of protection may be renewed for a period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year from the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection. The court may, upon finding that it is in the best interest of the child, include a provision that any full order of protection for one year shall automatically renew unless the respondent requests a hearing by thirty days prior to the expiration of the order. If for good cause a hearing cannot be held on the motion to renew or to terminate the automatic renewal of the full order of protection prior to the expiration date of the originally issued full order of protection, an ex parte order of protection may be issued until a hearing is held on the motion. When an automatic renewal is not authorized, upon motion by either party, the guardian ad litem or the court appointed special advocate, and after a hearing by the court, the second full order of protection may be renewed for an additional period of time the court deems appropriate, except that the protective order shall be valid for at least one hundred eighty days and not more than one year from the expiration date of the second full order of protection. If for good cause a hearing cannot be held on the motion to renew the second full order of protection prior to the expiration date of the second order, an ex parte order of protection may be issued until a hearing is held on the motion. For purposes of this subsection, a finding by the court of a subsequent act of abuse is not required for a renewal order of protection.

2. The court shall cause a copy of the petition and notice of the date set for the hearing on such petition and any ex parte order of protection to be personally served upon the respondent by personal process server as provided by law or by any sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. Such shall be served at the earliest time, and service of such shall take priority over service in other actions, except those of a similar emergency nature. The court shall cause a copy of any full order of protection to be served upon or mailed by certified mail to the respondent at the respondent's last known address. Failure to serve or mail a copy of the full order of protection to the respondent shall not affect the validity or enforceability of a full order of protection.

3. A copy of any order of protection granted under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be issued to the petitioner and to the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides. The clerk shall also issue a copy of any order of protection to the local law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the Missouri uniform law enforcement system (MULES) or any other comparable law enforcement system the same day the order is granted. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES shall enter information contained in the order for purposes of verification within twenty-four hours from the time the order is granted. A notice of expiration or of termination of any order of protection shall be issued to such local law enforcement agency and to the law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining MULES or any other comparable law enforcement system. The law enforcement agency responsible for maintaining the applicable law enforcement system shall enter such information in the system. The information contained in an order of protection may be entered in the Missouri uniform law enforcement system or comparable law enforcement system using a direct automated data transfer from the court automated system to the law enforcement system.

4. A copy of the petition and notice of the date set for the hearing on such petition and any order of protection granted pursuant to sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be issued to the juvenile office in the jurisdiction where the petitioner resides. A notice of expiration or of termination of any order of protection shall be issued to such juvenile office.

5. The court shall cause a copy of any objection filed by the respondent and notice of the date set for the hearing on such objection to an automatic renewal of a full order of protection for a period of one year to be personally served upon the petitioner by a personal process server as provided by law or by a sheriff or police officer at least three days prior to such hearing. Such service of process shall be served at the earliest time and shall take priority over service in other actions except those of a similar emergency nature.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 8, A.L. 1989 S.B. 420, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 2003 H.B. 613, A.L. 2005 S.B. 420 & 344, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320)



Temporary relief available--ex parte orders.

455.520. 1. Any ex parte order of protection granted under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be to protect the victim from domestic violence or stalking and may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the victim's safety, including but not limited to:

(1) Restraining the respondent from committing or threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, molesting, or disturbing the peace of the victim;

(2) Restraining the respondent from entering the family home of the victim except as specifically authorized by the court;

(3) Restraining the respondent from communicating with the victim in any manner or through any medium, except as specifically authorized by the court;

(4) A temporary order of custody of minor children.

2. No ex parte order of protection excluding the respondent from the family home shall be issued unless the court finds that:

(1) The order is in the best interests of the child or children remaining in the home;

(2) The verified allegations of domestic violence present a substantial risk to the child or children unless the respondent is excluded; and

(3) A remaining adult family or household member is able to care adequately for the child or children in the absence of the excluded party.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 9, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Full order of protection--relief available.

455.523. 1. Any full order of protection granted under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be to protect the victim from domestic violence and stalking may include such terms as the court reasonably deems necessary to ensure the petitioner's safety, including but not limited to:

(1) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from committing domestic violence, threatening to commit domestic violence, stalking, molesting, or disturbing the peace of the victim;

(2) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from entering the family home of the victim, except as specifically authorized by the court;

(3) Temporarily enjoining the respondent from communicating with the victim in any manner or through any medium, except as specifically authorized by the court.

2. When the court has, after hearing for any full order of protection, issued an order of protection, it may, in addition:

(1) Award custody of any minor child born to or adopted by the parties when the court has jurisdiction over such child and no prior order regarding custody is pending or has been made, and the best interests of the child require such order be issued;

(2) Award visitation;

(3) Award child support in accordance with supreme court rule 88.01 and chapter 452;

(4) Award maintenance to petitioner when petitioner and respondent are lawfully married in accordance with chapter 452;

(5) Order respondent to make or to continue to make rent or mortgage payments on a residence occupied by the victim if the respondent is found to have a duty to support the victim or other dependent household members;

(6) Order the respondent to participate in a court-approved counseling program designed to help stop violent behavior or to treat substance abuse;

(7) Order the respondent to pay, to the extent that he or she is able, the costs of his or her treatment, together with the treatment costs incurred by the victim;

(8) Order the respondent to pay a reasonable fee for housing and other services that have been provided or that are being provided to the victim by a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 10, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Jurisdiction for orders--compliance review hearings permitted--remedies for enforcement of orders.

455.524. 1. The court shall retain jurisdiction over the full order of protection issued under sections 455.500 to 455.538 for its entire duration. The court may schedule compliance review hearings to monitor the respondent's compliance with the order.

2. The terms of the child order of protection issued under this chapter are enforceable by all remedies available at law for the enforcement of a judgment, and the court may punish a respondent who willfully violates the child order of protection to the same extent as provided by law for contempt of the court in any suit or proceeding cognizable by the court.

(L. 2005 S.B. 420 & 344)



Assignment of wages.

455.526. The court may order the person obligated to pay support or maintenance to make an assignment of a part of his periodic earnings or other income to the person entitled to receive the payments in accordance with chapter 452.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 11, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174)



Modification of orders, who may file, when--termination--order not res judicata, when.

455.528. 1. After notice to the parties and the guardian ad litem or court-appointed special advocate and hearing, the court may modify an order of protection of a child at any time, upon subsequent motion filed by either party, the guardian ad litem, or the court-appointed special advocate together with an affidavit showing a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant the modification. All full orders of protection of a child shall be final orders and appealable and shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed one hundred eighty days except as otherwise provided herein.

2. Any order for child support, custody, temporary custody, visitation or maintenance entered under sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall terminate prior to the time fixed in the order upon the issuance of a subsequent order pursuant to chapter 452, or any other Missouri statute.

3. No order entered pursuant to sections 455.500 to 455.538 shall be res judicata to any subsequent proceeding, including, but not limited to, any action brought under chapter 452.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 12, A.L. 1995 S.B. 174)



Grounds for modification of orders.

455.530. 1. Provisions of any order respecting maintenance or support may be modified only as to installments occurring subsequent to the motion for modification and only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unreasonable.

2. Provisions of any order respecting custody may be modified only if the court finds, upon the basis of facts that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or his custodian and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

3. Provisions of any order respecting visitation may be modified when the modification would serve the best interests of the child.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 13)



Proceedings independent of others.

455.534. All proceedings under sections 455.500 to 455.538 are independent of any proceedings for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, separate maintenance and other actions between the parties and are in addition to any other available civil or criminal remedies, unless otherwise specifically provided in sections 455.500 to 455.538.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 14)



Costs of legal fees.

455.536. The court may order a respondent to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the petitioner of maintaining any proceeding under sections 455.500 to 455.538 and for attorney's fees, including sums for legal services rendered and costs incurred prior to the commencement of the proceeding or after entry of judgment.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 15)



Law enforcement agencies response to violation of order--arrest for violation, penalties--custody to be returned to rightful party, when.

455.538. 1. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a party, against whom a protective order for a child has been entered, has committed an act in violation of that order, the officer shall have the authority to arrest the respondent whether or not the violation occurred in the presence of the arresting officer.

2. When a person, against whom an order of protection for a child has been entered, fails to surrender custody of minor children to the person to whom custody was awarded in an order of protection, the law enforcement officer shall arrest the respondent, and shall turn the minor children over to the care and custody of the party to whom such care and custody was awarded.

3. The same procedures, including those designed to protect constitutional rights, shall be applied to the respondent as those applied to any individual detained in police custody.

4. (1) Violation of the terms and conditions of an ex parte or full order of protection with regard to domestic violence, stalking, child custody, communication initiated by the respondent, or entrance upon the premises of the victim's dwelling unit or place of employment or school, or being within a certain distance of the petitioner or a child of the petitioner, of which the respondent has notice, shall be a class A misdemeanor, unless the respondent has previously pleaded guilty to or has been found guilty in any division of the circuit court of violating an ex parte order of protection or a full order of protection within five years of the date of the subsequent violation, in which case the subsequent violation shall be a class D felony. Evidence of a prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt shall be heard by the court out of the presence of the jury prior to submission of the case to the jury. If the court finds the existence of a prior plea of guilty or finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall decide the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition and shall not instruct the jury as to the range of punishment or allow the jury to assess and declare the punishment as a part of its verdict.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, in addition to the notice provided by actual service of the order, a party is deemed to have notice of an order of protection for a child if the law enforcement officer responding to a call of a reported incident of domestic violence or stalking or violation of an order of protection for a child presents a copy of the order of protection to the respondent.

5. The fact that an act by a respondent is a violation of a valid order of protection for a child shall not preclude prosecution of the respondent for other crimes arising out of the incident in which the protection order is alleged to have been violated.

(L. 1987 H.B. 598 16, A.L. 2011 S.B. 320, A.L. 2013 H.B. 215)



Homicides or suicides, determination of domestic violence, factors to be considered--reports made to highway patrol, forms, due when.

455.543. 1. In any incident investigated by a law enforcement agency involving a homicide or suicide, the law enforcement agency shall make a determination as to whether the homicide or suicide is related to domestic violence.

2. In making such determination, the local law enforcement agency may consider a number of factors including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) If the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim is or was that of a family or household member;

(2) Whether the victim or perpetrator had previously filed for an order of protection;

(3) Whether any of the subjects involved in the incident had previously been investigated for incidents of domestic violence; and

(4) Any other evidence regarding the homicide or suicide that assists the agency in making its determination.

3. After making a determination as to whether the homicide or suicide is related to domestic violence, the law enforcement agency shall forward the information required within fifteen days to the Missouri state highway patrol on a form or format approved by the patrol. The required information shall include the gender and age of the victim, the type of incident investigated, the disposition of the incident and the relationship of the victim to the perpetrator. The state highway patrol shall develop a form for this purpose which shall be distributed by the department of public safety to all law enforcement agencies by October 1, 2000. Completed forms shall be forwarded to the highway patrol without undue delay as required by section 43.500; except that all such reports shall be forwarded no later than seven days after an incident is determined or identified as a homicide or suicide involving domestic violence.

(L. 1998 H.B. 1918, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al., A.L. 2011 S.B. 320)



Annual report by highway patrol.

455.545. The highway patrol shall compile an annual report of homicides and suicides related to domestic violence. Such report shall be presented by February first of the subsequent year to the governor, speaker of the house of representatives, and president pro tempore of the senate.

(L. 1998 H.B. 1918, A.L. 2000 H.B. 1677, et al.)



Good faith immunity for reporters.

455.547. Any employee of a law enforcement agency who, in good faith, completes and sends a form pursuant to section 455.543 shall be immune from liability.

(L. 1998 H.B. 1918)



Court-appointed batterer intervention, credentialing process, rulemaking authority.

455.549. 1. The division of probation and parole within the department of corrections shall promulgate rules to establish standards and to adopt a credentialing process for any court-appointed batterer intervention program.

2. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2011, shall be invalid and void.

(L. 2011 S.B. 320)

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