MSLegalServices.orgMississippi

Protection From Domestic Abuse

Authored By: North Mississippi Rural Legal Services LSC Funded

Information

Protection From Domestic Abuse

  1. What Court can issue Protective Orders from domestic abuse?
  2. What are the Orders available for?
  3. Who all can the Orders apply?
  4. How do I get an Order?
  5. Are Orders from other states enforced by Mississippi Courts?
  6. Are there any shelters for domestic violence victims?
  7. What is the penalty for violation of a Protective Order?
  8. What is law enforcement officers obligation in helping prevent domestic violence?
  9. What relief can I get from a protective order?
  10. What are my rights as a victim of crime?
  11. If I am a victim of domestic violence and want to keep my abuser from locating me, how do I obtain a new Social Security number?
  12. How do I apply for a new number?
  13. What documentation will I need to present?
  14. Who can provide the evidence I need?
  15. Is my number confidential?

What Court can issue Protective Orders from domestic abuse?

A Protective Order from domestic abuse may be issued by a chancery, justice, municipal or county Court.

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What are the Orders available for?

Protective Orders are available for the prevention of attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury, with or without a deadly weapon; or the prevention of placing by physical menace of threat, another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or, the commission of sexual misconduct committed against a minor.

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Who all can the Orders apply?

Theses Orders apply to spouses, former spouses, family and household members, parent, children and people involved in a current dating relationship or people related by blood or marriage.

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How do I get an Order?

A petition or complaint has to be filed with the Court Clerk. You do not need a lawyer prior to filing for a protection from Domestic Abuse Order. You are not require to pay a fee prior to filing for a protection from domestic abuse order. An Order obtained without the Defendant having a hearing is only valid temporary after which there must be a hearing in Chancery Court.

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Are Orders from other states enforced by Mississippi Courts?

Protective Orders from other jurisdictions are to be accorded full faith and credit by the courts of the state and enforced as if it was issued by this state.

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Are there any shelters for domestic violence victims?

If a domestic situation has gotten so bad that temporary shelter is needed, there are Domestic Violence shelters located throughout Mississippi. Shelters are not required to disclose the street address or physical location of that shelter to anyone.

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What is the penalty for violation of a Protective Order?

Upon a finding of contempt the party may be incarcerated up to six(6) months and fined up to $1,000.00.

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What is law enforcement officers obligation in helping protect me from domestic violence?

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a person has within 24 hour committed domestic violence or has violated an Order issued by a Court pursuant to a protection from domestic abuse order he shall arrest that person.

Additionally, a law enforcement officer is to provide certain assistance in domestic abuse situations. When feasible, if assistance is requested, they must transport the victim to obtain medical attention or to a shelter. Also, when feasible they must accompany the victim to his or her residence to get food, clothing, medication or other personal property necessary to allow the victim and any minor children to remain elsewhere pending further proceedings.

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What relief can I get in a protective order?

A protective order can give you temporary possession of the residence to the exclusion of the defendant. It can prohibit the transfer, disposition, or encumbering of property mutually owned or leased by the parties. An order entered by Justice, Municipal or County Court is valid for a maximum of 10 days and more permanent relief must be obtained in Chancery Court. An order entered by Chancery Court shall be for a fixed period of time not to exceed three years.

A protective order granted by a Chancery Court can award temporary custody, establish temporary visitation, order temporary support for the petitioner and child/children, order medical expenses, recover lost earnings, out of pocket loss for injuries sustained, moving expenses, attorney fees, can order counseling and/or professional medical treatment.

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What are my rights as a victim of a crime?

If the abuser is convicted and incarcerated, as a victim of crime, you have the right to be notified within fifteen (15) days prior to the end of his sentence, notice of release upon end of sentence or notice of medical release, and notice within fifteen (15) days, the prisoner has died (if within the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Victims Notification. You also have the right to be notified of any subsequent recapture of the offender. Other Victim Rights afforded the authority of Mississippi Department of Corrections include:

  • Right to submit an audio or video recording to be placed in offenders file for consideration of community status or prior to release;
  • Right to be notified and allowed to submit a written or recorded statement when parole or pardon is considered; and
  • Right to be notified if the offender is released on an appeal bond
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If I am a victim of domestic violence and want to keep my abuser from locating me, how do I obtain a new Social Security number?

Although SSA do not routinely assign new numbers, they will do so when evidence shows you are being harassed, abused or endangered. However, a new Social Security number alone cannot protect you, particularly if your original number did not play a role in the harassment, abuse or life endangerment.

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How do I apply for a new number?

You must apply in person at any Social Security office. They will help you complete a statement explaining why you need a new number; and an application for a new number.

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What documentation will I need to present?

You will need to present:

a. Original documents establishing your age, identity and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status, such as a birth certificate and a driver's license;

b. One or more documents identifying you by both your old and new names if you have changed your name (as the Department of Justice recommends);

c. Evidence showing you have custody of children for whom you are requesting new numbers; and

d. Evidence you may have documenting the harassment or abuse. The SSA will help you obtain additional evidence if it is needed.

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Who can provide the evidence I need?

The best evidence of abuse comes from third parties, such as police, medical facilities or doctors, and describes the nature and extent of harassment, abuse or endangerment. Other evidence may include court restraining orders, letters from sheriff, family members, friends, counselors or others who have knowledge of the domestic violence or abuse.

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Is my number confidential?

Yes. Your Social Security number and SSA records are confidential. They do not furnish your number to third parties. They get your number when you give it out. Therefore, you should be careful about sharing your number with those who ask for it, even when they provide you with a benefit service. This is especially important if you obtain a new number to break the link to an abusive past.

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Last Review and Update: Nov 19, 2002