Family Violence Protection Orders
In 1982, the Wyoming Legislature passed the Family Violence Protection act. This Act gave victims of family violence the right to petition the courts for protection from their abusers.
You need to attend the hearing if you wish to receive the protection order.
The abuser is not required to attend. You (and the abuser) have the right to be represented by an attorney at the hearing, but you are not required to do so.
The judge will ask you, the plaintiff, to explain the incidents described in your petition. After you are through, the judge will provide an opportunity for your abuser, the defendant, to respond to your allegations. After hearing the testimony, the judge will either grant a 90-day Order of Protection, or dismiss the petition.
Petitions are Filed and Heard at:
Circuit Court of Sheridan County
224 S. Main St., Suite B-7
Sheridan, WY 82801
How Does it Work?
- You may obtain a petition from the Advocacy & Resource Center or from Circuit Court.
- Complete the petition outlining the specific incident which caused you to ask for the protection order.
- Call Circuit Court to learn when the judge’s schedule will allow him to read your petition.
- Take the petition to the Circuit Court so the judge can review the petition. The judge will decide whether or not to issue a temporary Order of protection. If a temporary order is issued, a hearing will be held within 72 hours.
- The abuser will be served, by a deputy, with a copy of your complaint, the Temporary Order of Protection, and notice of the hearing.
- The hearing is a civil procedure, not criminal. You will want to answer the judge’s questions as clearly and concisely as you can. Do not respond to the defendant’s answers or comments. Remain calm and only interact with the judge. If the judge is ending the hearing and you are unclear about something or have a question, respectfully let the judge know. It is okay to cry. The judge knows the proceedings can be difficult.