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What is a Temporary Protective Order?

A Temporary Protective Order, often referred to as a TPO, is a documents issued by a court that orders an abuser to abusing, harassing, or stalking a victim or face severe legal consequences. As indicated by the name, TPOs are temporary, commonly lasting up to one year. However, under certain circumstances, a TPO may be extended for up to three years, and may even be extended permanently.

Generally, a TPO will prohibit the abuser from making contact with the victim. Additionally, a TPO may grant an abuse victim exclusive possession of a shared residence, or order the abuser to provide the victim with alternative living arrangement. A TPO may also grant a victim temporary child custody and temporary financial support. Before a court will issue a TPO, the following must occur:

  • A recent act of family violence between the abuser and victim;
  • The victim, or someone acting on his or her behalf, must complete a petition requesting a TPO;
  • A hearing where the victim will have an opportunity to speak with the judge about the abuse; and,
  • If the judge finds that it is appropriate to issue a TPO, the court will issue the order, and a copy of that order will be served on the abuser by the sheriff.

If you have suffered family violence at the hands of your spouse, romantic partner or family member, please see the resource links below. Each link provides information on how to obtain an order of protection in one of the many counties that comprise the Atlanta Metro Area. If you have obtained an order of protection and your abuser violates the TPO, you should contact law enforcement immediately so that the Sheriff’s Office or Police Department can enforce your order of protection.

Temporary Protection Order resources by county:

Fulton County

DeKalb County

Gwinnett County

Cobb County



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