Emergency Protective Order


A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) is a civil order issued by a superior court judge.  Some people refer to TPO’s as stay away orders, orders of protection, orders of no contact, and/or restraining orders.

A “Petitioner”, the victim, files a petition to obtain protection from the “Respondent”, the abuser.  This order states that the abuser is prohibited from having contact with the victim and possibly the children and the family.

The TPO law does not apply to all persons and all acts of violence.  Before filing a petition for a TPO, the victim must determine whether the family violence law applies to them.  The violence test and the relationship test will determine if you are eligible to file a TPO.

The Relationship Test:

  • Is the violence between you and your current or past spouse?
  • Is the violence between you and the other parent of your child?
  • Is the violence between you and your parents, stepparents, foster parents, or parent-in-laws?
  • Is the violence between you and your children, stepchildren, or foster children?
  • Is the violence between you and a person who is living or formerly lived in your household?

The Violence Test.  Has the person in the relationship above:

  • Hit, slapped or touched you in an intimidating manner or caused you physical harm?
  • Attempted to injure you or put you in reasonable fear of being hurt?
  • Followed or contacted you for the purpose of harassing and intimidating you?
  • Damaged your property or come onto your property without permission to do so?
  • Confined or kept you from leaving?
  • Threatened to harm you, attempted to kill you, or raped you?

If you answered yes to one of the questions in the relationship test and you answered yes to one of the questions in the violence test section, then the TPO law may apply to you.


706-344-3535 ext 20441 (for Dawson County) and 706-344-2373 (for Lumpkin County), or refer to our e-mail form to speak with a Legal Advocate