Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Criminal Justice

Overview of the Issue

Full Faith and Credit
A protective order issued by a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the Unites States, or an Indian tribe or band that has jurisdiction to issue protection orders is accorded full faith & credit & enforced as if it were an order of this state whether or not the relief ordered is available in this state, if there is probable cause to believe that it is a valid foreign protection order. A protection order, temporary or final, from any other jurisdiction may be enforced even if the order is not registered, filed, or entered into the state law enforcement information system. Obtain more information on Full Faith and Credit.

There is probable cause to believe that a protection order is valid if it:

In circumstances where a written protection Order is not presented, law enforcement officers may consider other credible information in determining whether there is probable cause to believe that the order exists and is currently in effect. Enforcement of an Order of Protection can NEVER be dependent on the victim’s ability to present a certified copy of that Order of Protection.

If an officer determines that an otherwise valid Order of Protection cannot be enforced because the respondent has not been notified of or served with the order, the officer must make a reasonable effort to serve the Order upon the respondent, informing the respondent of the Order and its conditions. Officers must allow the respondent a reasonable opportunity to comply with the Order, after which time, the officer must then enforce the Order.