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Court Advocacy and Support

What Does Advocacy Look Like?

Care Lodge recognizes the need for assistance and encouragement during the time of a crisis. This agency offers advocacy to the victim by providing essential services and support. An advocate may accompany the victim to appointments or court appearances, assist with Domestic Abuse Protection Orders, and support them during the recovery process. Our team of advocates do their best to help others understand their options so they can make an informed choice as to what they believe is best for them.

Domestic Abuse Protection Order Assistance

Care Lodge has trained advocates available at the Community Services office to help increase an understanding of both the process and paperwork. Advocates can also accompany the Petitioner to the Ex-Parte (Emergency Protection Order) or Final DAPO hearings to provide support throughout the process.

Click below to download the forms needed to file a Domestic Abuse Protection Order in Mississippi. 

Where Can I File My Petition?

Protection Orders, filed under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Law, are free of charge and are enforceable wherever the victim travels in the U.S. If you are in fear of immediate harm, you may be able to obtain an Emergency Domestic Abuse Protection Order (DAPO). Section 99-21-7 of the Mississippi Code.

  1. If the abuse occurred within the city limits, or if the abuser lives within the city limits, you should go to the Municipal Court of that city [to file your petition]. If the abuse occurred in the county, or
  2. if the abuser lives in the county, you should go to the Justice Court of that county [to file your petition]. You may also file for a DAPO in the County Court. Wherever you file, you do not need an attorney to file for an Emergency DAPO.

If the clerk's office does not have a Petition for a DAPO for you to fill out, please click the link below titled "Domestic Abuse Protection Order Petition" and follow the instructions provided in a separate link, or feel free to watch the instructional video provided on this page.

Once you have completed the Petition, the Clerk will tell you when you may see the judge. You will appear before the judge and tell them why you are seeking an Emergency DAPO. If you have any evidence of the abuse (photos, police reports, etc.), you should have copies with you at that time so the judge can review it.

The judge will grant your emergency request if they determine there is good cause. Your abuser will not be present at this meeting. If the Emergency order is granted, your abuser will be served with the Order and your Petition. Emergency orders are effective for 10 days after which you will go to court for a full hearing where both you and your abuser will be able to tell your stories and present evidence. If your abuser is unable to be served, the judge may extend the Emergency DAPO under certain circumstances for up to 20 days and then hold the full hearing (see link for continuance form).

You also have the option of going to Chancery or County Court to request a Final DAPO, which can be issued for a longer period of time (see link for Temporary and Final DAPO forms). The judge will decide the duration of the Final DAPO. Both parties will be present at this hearing. There are no court filing fees or service of process fees.

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Laws By State

Information in this section is provided by

Click HERE to access laws by state

MS Attorney General - Bureau of Victim Assistance

MS Attorney General Lynn Finch has provided several links and documents on their official website to help victims connect to the help they need throughout the state. As a listed partner of the MS AGO, Care Lodge staff can assist victims apply for relief through programs like the Victim Compensation Program and the Mississippi Crime Victims' Bill of Rights.

The Victim Compensation Program provides financial assistance to innocent victims of violent crime and their eligible family members. The Program helps to reduce the financial burden resulting from a violent crime by reimbursing eligible victims/family members for their crime-related expenses not covered by any other benefit source (insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, disability/death benefits, Workers’ Compensation, etc.). Limitations do apply. Eligible applicants may be reimbursed for crime related expenses associated with:

  • medical/dental treatment
  • rehabilitation
  • mental health services
  • lost wages
  • loss of support (dependent[s] of homicide victim)
  • tuition loss
  • funeral costs
  • limited transportation costs
  • repair/replacement of exterior windows, doors, and locks damaged during a crime,
  • domestic violence temporary housing and relocation
  • crime scene cleanup

Call Care Lodge to connect with a local advocate who can help you understand each of these services and support your next steps toward safety and social justice. 24-Hour Help Line 601.693.4673

Our Contributors

  • United Way of East Mississippi
    United Way of East Mississippi