Domestic violence and abuse are a continuing problem in Louisiana and across the country. Whether you are a victim or an alleged perpetrator, you should be aware of the law in Louisiana addressing these issues.
Per the Louisiana Supreme Court, Revised Statutes 46:2131. et seq. are known as the Domestic Abuse Assistance Act. Its purposes are two-fold: to afford domestic abuse victims an immediate accessible civil protection remedy; i.e., an order of protection, and to ensure that law enforcement officers not only enforce Louisiana's laws against domestic abuse, but also communicate that violent behavior toward one's spouse, child, family member or dating partner is neither tolerated nor excused.
Who may obtain an order of protection
In Louisiana, your relationship to your alleged abuser must be one of the following:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Parent or stepparent
- Child or stepchild
- Foster child or parent
- Household member; i.e., someone living in the same residence as the alleged abuser or who has lived with him or her in the past
- A dating partner, current or former
If you are an adult over the age of 18, you can file your own petition asking for an order of protection from your abuser. If you are under the age of 18 and not emancipated by virtue of marriage or otherwise, your parent, one of your adult household members or your local district attorney can file the petition on your behalf.
Your petition must contain the following:
- Your name and address
- Your alleged abuser's name and address
- Your relationship to the alleged abuser
- The facts and circumstances surrounding the abuse of which you are complaining
- Your request for one or more orders of protection
Where to file
The court in which you file your petition can be located in the parish where you reside, where your alleged abuser resides, where your marital domicile or household is located, where the alleged abuse took place, or where you would bring, or have brought, an action for divorce or annulment.
While you should not interpret this information as legal advice, it can help you understand the order of protection process and what to expect.