Orders of Protection

Orders of Protection

**Due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, you can now file for an Order of Protection with an advocate over the phone from your own home or safe location. Please call 615-880-1100 or email us at FSCInfo@jis.nashville.org to be connected to an advocate. This process will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete.**

If you would like help with the Order of Protection (OP) process, an advocate at the Family Safety Center can help you. To learn more about Orders of Protection, download our OP brochure below (English & Spanish):

Order of Protection Brochure   Folleto sobres las Órdenes de Protección

On This Page:

What is an Order of Protection?   Under an Order of Protection, What Can an Abuser NOT Do?  Other Requests That Can Be Made to the Court  Who Can Get an Order of Protection?  How to Get an Order of Protection  What to Do if your Order is Violated

What is an Order of Protection (OP)?

An Order of Protection is a legal document that makes it a crime for an abuser to contact you or come around you for any reason. You are not required to make a police report if you don’t want to, and an OP will not go on an abuser’s record as long as they abide by the order. If the judge grants your Order of Protection, your order will be in place for up to 1 year. You can request an extension of your Order at the end of that year if you still feel unsafe.

In an Order of Protection, the “Petitioner” is the person asking for the Order of Protection and the “Respondent” is the person the Order is against.  To learn more, watch the video below:


Under an Order of Protection, an abuser can be ordered NOT TO:

  • threaten or abuse you, your children, or your pets
  • contact you or your children in any way
  • come around you or your children, no matter where you are
  • interfere with your utilities
  • own or have access to guns

You can also ask the court:

  • to have the Respondent move out of your home immediately
  • to order the Respondent to pay child support, alimony, or the household bills
  • to separate your cell phone lines

Who can get an Order of Protection?

  • People who are dating, have dated, or have had sex
  • People who are married, have been married, or share children together
  • People who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • People who have lived together
  • A person who has been sexually assaulted by the Respondent
  • A person who has been stalked by the Respondent

How to get an Order of Protection

You can come to the Family Safety Center for help filing your Order of Protection. If you are in Nashville and would like to file the Order on your own, you can access the paperwork here.

When you come to the Family Safety Center, please bring:

  • an address for the Respondent (home, workplace, school, etc.)
  • the Respondent’s date of birth
  • a parent or legal guardian if you are under the age of 18

The order will go into effect once the Sheriff’s Office serves the order on the Respondent. This is because the Respondent can’t be held responsible for violating the order if they don’t know the order exists.

What to do if your Order is violated

If you are in immediate danger when your order is violated or you are afraid for your life, call 911.

If you are not in immediate danger and want to file charges or make a report, you can call the non-emergency number. If you are in Nashville, that number is (615) 862-8600.

If you are unsure about what to do or have any questions, you can call an advocate at the Family Safety Center to discuss your options.



If you would like help with the Order of Protection process, an advocate at the Family Safety Center can help you.

If you have questions about your court date, please call the Davidson County Clerk’s Office:

  • General Sessions (if your OP number has the letters “OP” in it): 615-862-5195
  • Circuit (if your OP number has the letter “X” in it): 615-862-5181

If you think that you are in an abusive relationship, look at our safety planning page for ways to increase your safety and our How We Help Page for support.