Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women

Violence Against Women Act

Full Faith and Credit Provisions

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18 U.S.C.   2265.  Full faith and credit given to protection orders

 

(a) Full faith and credit.  Any protection order issued that is consistent with subsection (b) of this section by the court of one State Indian tribe, or territory (the issuing State Indian tribe, or territory) shall be accorded full faith and credit by the court of another State Indian tribe, or territory (the enforcing State Indian tribe, or territory) and enforced by the court and law enforcement personnel of the other State, Indian tribal government or Territory as if it were the order of the enforcing State or tribe.

(b) Protection order.  A protection order issued by a State, tribal, or territorial court is consistent with this subsection if--

   (1) such court has jurisdiction over the parties and matter under the law of such State Indian tribe, or territory; and

   (2) reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard is given to the person against whom the order is sought sufficient to protect that person's right to due process. In the case of ex parte orders, notice and opportunity to be heard must be provided within the time required by State, tribal, or territorial law, and in any event within a reasonable time after the order is issued, sufficient to protect the respondent's due process rights.

 (c) Cross or counter petition.  A protection order issued by a State, tribal, or territorial court against one who has petitioned, filed a complaint, or otherwise filed a written pleading for protection against abuse by a spouse or intimate partner is not entitled to full faith and credit if--

   (1) no cross or counter petition, complaint, or other written pleading was filed seeking such a protection order; or

   (2) a cross or counter petition has been filed and the court did not make specific findings that each party was entitled to such an order.

 (d) Notification and registration.

   (1) Notification. A State Indian tribe, or territory according full faith and credit to an order by a court of another State Indian tribe, or territory shall not notify or require notification of the party against whom a protection order has been issued that the protection order has been registered or filed in that enforcing State, tribal, or territorial jurisdiction unless requested to do so by the party protected under such order.

   (2) No prior registration or filing as prerequisite for enforcement. Any protection order that is otherwise consistent with this section shall be accorded full faith and credit, notwithstanding failure to comply with any requirement that the order be registered or filed in the enforcing State, tribal, or territorial jurisdiction.

    (3) Limits on internet publication of registration information. A State, Indian tribe, or territory shall not make available publicly on the Internet any information regarding the registration or filing of a protection order, restraining order, or injunction in either the issuing or enforcing State, tribal or territorial jurisdiction, if such publication would be likely to publicly reveal the identity or location of the party protected under such order. A State, Indian tribe, or territory may share court-generated and law enforcement-generated information contained in secure, governmental registries for protection order enforcement purposes.

 (e) Tribal court jurisdiction.  For purposes of this section, a tribal court shall have full civil jurisdiction to enforce protection orders, including authority to enforce any orders through civil contempt proceedings, exclusion of violators from Indian lands, and other appropriate mechanisms, in matters arising within the authority of the tribe.

 18 USCS   2266. Definitions

    (5) Protection order. The term "protection order" includes--

      (A) any injunction, restraining order, or any other order issued by a civil or criminal court for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts or harassment against, sexual violence, or contact or communication with or physical proximity to, another person, including any temporary or final order issued by a civil or criminal court whether obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendente lite order in another proceeding so long as any civil or criminal order was issued in response to a complaint, petition, or motion filed by or on behalf of a person seeking protection; and

      (B) any support, child custody or visitation provisions, orders, remedies or relief issued as part of a protection order, restraining order, or injunction pursuant to State, tribal, territorial, or local law authorizing the issuance of protection orders, restraining orders, or injunctions for the protection of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking.


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