Protective Orders vs. No Contact Orders

The chart below is intended to be a guide in helping determine to whom you need to see or speak with. First, in either case, the defendant must have committed an assault under I.C.A. § 708.1.

Assault is defined as an act intended to cause pain or injury or result in physical contact which would be insulting or offensive to the victim; or an act intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, cause injury, insulting or offensive. The defendant must have the apparent ability to carry out any of the acts described above.

Protective Order (Ch. 236)No Contact Order
Who may receive or apply for such an order?








1. Family or household members that currently reside with each other or have resided with each other within the last year.
2. Parties that are divorced or separated
3. Parties that have a minor child together.
4. Persons who are in an intimate relationship or have been in an intimate relationship and have had contact within the past year of the assault*
1. Victims of criminal offenses for domestic violence, stalking, harassment, or sexual assault.
2. In limited circumstances, witnesses or victims of other crimes under I.C.A. §915.22 


Who issues the order?District Court JudgeAssociate District/Magistrate Judge
Who starts the process?Plaintiff/VictimLaw Enforcement (filing of charges)
Who has the forms?District Court ClerkMagistrate Clerk
Can the order set child custody, visitation, and support?YesNo
Can the order keep the Defendant from a specific home or location?YesNo
Can the Order distribute property?Yes, but no land.No
Is the County Attorney involved or is able to help?Yes, in limited circumstances.Yes
Is it a crime to violate the order?Yes, I.C.A. § 664A.7Yes, I.C.A. § 664A.7
Can I get in trouble for violating the order?Yes, it is punishable as contempt.Yes, it is punishable as contempt.
Type of proceeding?CivilCriminal
Does the Defendant have a right to an appointed attorney?NoYes (in most cases).

If you have any additional questions, you should contact Helping Services – Domestic Abuse Resource Center 24-hour Crisis Line at 563-382-2989 or 1-800-383-2988. If the situation is about to become violent, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

*In determining whether persons are or have been in an intimate relationship, the court may consider the following nonexclusive list of factors: (1) the duration of the relationship; (2) the frequency of interaction; (3) whether the relationship have been terminated; (4) the nature of the relationship, characterized be either party’s expectation of sexual or romantic involvement. A person may be involved in an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time.