We recommend that if you are in immediate danger, please contact the police by dialing 911.
A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) helps protect victims of domestic violence (also known as Family Violence) and stalking. The Order will require the abuser to stay a certain distance away from you, your home and work. The abuser will be prohibited from contacting you in person, by email, by telephone, by mail and through a third party.
The Court can also order the abuser to stay away from your children if the court feels the abuser poses a risk to them.
The Family Violence Act, beginning at O.C.G.A. § 19-13-1, is a law to protect people who are abused by –
Present or past spouses
Parents of the same child
Parents and children
Stepparents and stepchildren
Foster parents and foster children
Other persons living or formerly living in the same household.
It can also be used to get temporary custody, financial support and other assistance for the abused person. If there is no relationship and you do not qualify for a family violence protective order, you may be eligible for a protective order under the Stalking Law, O.C.G.A. § 16-5-94.
Important Information – Covid -19 Note: Please go to the Fulton County Superior Court Family Division Website to find the most current information and process on how to apply for a Temporary Protective Order (TPO). You may also call the Fulton County Superior Court Family Division Administrative Office, 404-612-0505 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is important to note that a Temporary Protective Order is not the same as a Temporary Restraining Order. Before approaching the Family Division, please consult with an attorney if you are unclear as to whether you need a Protective Order OR a Restraining Order. The Family Division does not accept petitions for Restraining Orders.
18 years of age and older - If you are 18 years of age or older and you are the victim of family violence, you can file the petition.
Below 18 years of age - If you are under 18 and you are the victim of violence, you must find someone who is 18 years of age or older to file the petition for you. Petitioners are screened to determine whether or not they meet certain criteria to obtain a protective order from domestic violence or stalking.
Petitioners are provided the necessary forms to complete their petition. After Petitioners complete their paperwork, they are brought before a Judge for an Ex Parte hearing where the Judge only hears one side. For most updated information on Ex Parte hearings please click here. Please call the Family Division office at 404-612-0505 to obtain the schedule of the Family Division's daily Ex Parte hearings.
The Judge will determine whether or not to grant an emergency protective order based on the information and evidence presented. If the emergency protective order is granted, the Petitioner will have to come back within 2 weeks of the filing of the petition, but no later than 30 days after the filing of the petition for a full hearing to include both parties. A Petitioner can request a full hearing for a protective order although their Ex Parte request for an emergency protective order has been denied.
The Judge at the full hearing will make a determination based on the evidence presented by both parties whether to grant or dismiss the TPO petition. If there is an emergency protective order granted in an Ex Parte hearing, the Judge at the full hearing will make a determination based on the evidence presented by both parties whether to extend the TPO in place or dismiss it.
Domestic Violence Project's Safe Families Office provides legal representation at no cost to petitioners who are seeking Temporary Protective Orders (TPOs). It assists victims of intimate partner violence and stalking and helps to secure protection for children. The Safe Families Office is run and staffed by the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) and the Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV). The Safe Families Office is located at the Superior Court of Fulton County. There is a process to qualify for this assistance and we suggest contacting the Safe Families Office to learn about the requirements of their qualification process. You can call at 404-612-4324 or visit their website.
A petitioner can always elect to seek private counsel or proceed without representation or assistance.
Please visit the Fulton County Superior Court Family Division website for more information on temporary protective orders or for other family law information and resources.
Family Violence External Links
The following external websites can provide additional information and resources on Family Violence: