If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

You may contact PADV’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 404-873-1766.

To contact the Safe Families Office, call 404-612-4324.


The Safe Families Office is a lawyer and DV advocate-staffed clinic in the Fulton County Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia - that provides legal and social assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and child abuse.

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Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) is a nonprofit that believes no one standing up for their rights should have to do it alone.


That’s why we stand with, for, and in support of low-income Atlantans as they demand safe and stable housing, insist on fair pay for an honest day’s work, and break free from domestic violence.

The largest provider of pro bono legal services in Atlanta, we leverage the collective power and resources of our professional community to advocate for our clients during their time of greatest need. Every year, over 5,000 Atlantans receive free, first-rate legal services from our staff and the 500 professionals and students who volunteer with us.


The mission of Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) is to end the crime of intimate partner violence and empower its survivors; our vision is a community free of domestic violence.  To that end we work to educate the public on the dynamics of intimate partner violence; promote healthy dating relationships among adolescents and teens to prevent future violence; offer safety and shelter for battered women and their children; restore power, self-sufficiency, and control to survivors; and create an effective and coordinated community response to intimate partner violence.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Safe Families Office?

The Safe Families Office (SFO) is operated by Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) and Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV). SFO staff and volunteers provide legal and social work assistance for survivors of intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and child abuse, including:

  • Assisting clients with preparing Temporary Protective Order (TPO) paperwork
  • Accompanying clients through the TPO process
  • Conducting trauma-informed interviews and risk assessments
  • Identifying lethality indicators and barriers to safety
  • Educating clients on TPO procedures
  • Referring clients to victims’ assistance programs to learn more about their rights as victims of crime
  • Providing court advocate and/or legal representation for TPO-related court hearings
  • Referring clients to community resources, such as emergency housing/shelter, support groups, mental health, and other services

What is a Temporary Protective Order (TPO)?

A TPO is a civil (as opposed to criminal) order of protection, which generally restricts the ability of the person the TPO is filed against to contact and come near the person in need of protection. TPOs can provide additional relief, including but not limited to the following:

  • Evict an abuser from a shared residence
  • Damage reimbursement
  • Custody & visitation
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Prohibit abuser from purchasing or possession firearms

Where do I file for a TPO?

Start by visiting the Fulton County Family Division One Stop Office, located at: 136 Pryor Street, SW | 8th Floor, Ste. C-826 | Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 612-0505 | 8:30 am – 5:00 pm | Monday – Friday Survivors of intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and child abuse will be referred to the Safe Families Office for assistance: Safe Families Office | (404) 612-4324
9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Monday – Friday

What do I need to file a TPO?

  • A valid picture ID, if available
  • A current address for the person you’re filing the TPO against
Please Note: If the person you are filing against does not live in Fulton County, you may not be able to file in Fulton county. Call the Safe Families Office to discuss this before arriving at the courthouse.

Are there fees to file for a TPO?

There are no fees to file for a TPO in Fulton County and have it served in Fulton County by the Fulton County Sheriff. However, if service must occur in another county, fees may result from that county’s sheriff’s office. You may also pay a fee if you use a private process server to serve your TPO documents on the Respondent/Defendant.

What Time Should I Arrive at Court?/What is the TPO Process?

Step 1 | File for an Ex Parte TPO. Ex parte means you are asking the judge to hear from you without the person you are filing against being there. Step 2 | You’ll see a judge the same day you file for a TPO. The TPO process takes approximately four hours from beginning to end. Judges are available to see you three times per day: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. You must be at the courthouse approximately two hours prior to your desired hearing time. Step 3 | If your Ex Parte TPO is granted, you will walk out of the courthouse with a TPO that same day. Please note: Your Ex Parte TPO will not be in effect until it has been personally served, or given to, the person you filed against. Service must be done by a law enforcement officer or private process server. Step 4 | You will be given a court date to come back for a second hearing to request that your TPO be extended for up to 12 months. Both you and the person you filed against will be able to present evidence at this second hearing.

What if I can't get to the Safe Families Office?

If you feel you need a TPO, but you can’t get to the Safe Families Office, please contact us right away so we can get you the assistance you need. Our number is (404) 612-4324.


Petitioner/Plaintiff: The person who files a lawsuit Respondent/Defendant: The person against whom a lawsuit was filed Ex Parte TPO: A protective order that is extremely temporary in nature, granted outside the presence of the person the TPO is filed against Ex Parte TPO Hearing: When a Petitioner/Plaintiff speaks to a judge outside the presence of the Respondent/Defendant 12-Month TPO: A protective order that is valid for 12 months from the date it is issued 12-Month TPO Hearing: A hearing, scheduled approximately two (2) weeks after the Ex Parte TPO Hearing, where Petitioner and Respondent both appear and Petitioner requests that his/her Ex Parte TPO be extended for up to 12 months Personal Service: When a qualified law enforcement officer or private process server hand delivers legal documents to a party to a lawsuit

What is the difference between a temporary protective order and a restraining order?

  1. A temporary restraining order is an order issued by a court in circumstances where there is an immediate risk of irreparable injury, loss, or damage that will result to a person or entity by another person or entity. Unlike protective orders, a restraining order is not meant to restrain a person from coming into contact with another person or from coming within physical proximity of another person for the purpose of protecting them against personal harm. A restraining order is a temporary remedy that may be granted in cases where, for example, a party has brought a lawsuit against another party, but the party bringing the lawsuit cannot wait until the lawsuit runs its course through the legal process because they risk suffering irreparable injury, loss, or damage by the time the case runs its course. In these cases, a court can issue a temporary restraining order against the other side, restraining them from continuing to engage in acts that will potentially cause irreparable harm, loss, or damage, until the lawsuit is resolved.
  2. A temporary protective order is a standalone order issued by a court to provides protection to a person against another person that has committed family violence, dating violence, or stalking against them. When a person needs protection against another person for their personal safety, they may ask a court for a temporary protective order to prevent the perpetrator from contacting them or from coming within physical proximity of them. Additionally, when appropriate, protective orders may offer other remedies, including, but not limited to, custody of minor children, child support, spousal support, and temporary possession of property.

What if I need non-TPO related legal Assistance?

The Fulton County Superior Court’s Justice Resource Center offers assistance on a variety of other legal issues. If you need legal assistance with something other than a temporary protective order, we encourage you to visit the Fulton County Superior Court's Justice Resource Center website.


Español (Spanish)

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 404-612-4324.

繁體中文 (Chinese)

注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 404-612-4324。

Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. Gọi số 1-404-612-4324.

한국어 (Korean)

주의: 한국어를 사용하시는 경우, 언어 지원 서비스를 무료로 이용하실 수 있습니다. 404-612-4324 번으로 전화해 주십시오.


PAUNAWA: Kung nagsasalita ka ng Tagalog, maaari kang gumamit ng mga serbisyo ng tulong sa wika nang walang bayad. Tumawag sa 404-612-4324.

Русский (Russian)

ВНИМАНИЕ: Если вы говорите на русском языке, то вам доступны бесплатные услуги перевода. Звоните 404-612-4324.

العربية (Arabic)

ملحوظة:  إذا كنت تتحدث اذكر اللغة، فإن خدمات المساعدة اللغوية تتوافر لك بالمجان.  اتصل برقم 4324-612-404.

Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole)

ATANSYON: Si w pale Kreyòl Ayisyen, gen sèvis èd pou lang ki disponib gratis pou ou. Rele 404-612-4324.

Français (French)

ATTENTION: Si vous parlez français, des services d’aide linguistique vous sont proposés gratuitement. Appelez le 404-612-4324.

Polski (Polish)

UWAGA: Jeżeli mówisz po polsku, możesz skorzystać z bezpłatnej pomocy językowej. Zadzwoń pod numer 404-612-4324.

Português (Portuguese)

ATENÇÃO: Faculta serviços linguísticas grátis a pessoas cuja língua principal não é inglês, tais como intérpretes qualificados. Se necessita destes serviços, contacte HHS através do número 404-612-4324.

Italiano (Italian)

ATTENZIONE: In caso la lingua parlata sia l’italiano, sono disponibili servizi di assistenza linguistica gratuiti. Chiamare il numero 404-612-4324.

Deutsch (German)

ACHTUNG: Wenn Sie Deutsch sprechen, stehen Ihnen kostenlos sprachliche Hilfsdienstleistungen zur Verfügung. Rufnummer: 404-612-4324.

日本語 (Japanese)

注意事項:日本語を話される場合、無料の言語支援をご利用いただけます。404-612-4324 まで、お電話にてご連絡ください。

فارسی (Farsi)

 وجه: اگر به زبان فارسی گفتگو می کنید، تسهیلات زبانی بصورت رایگان برای شما فراهم می باشد. باتماس بگیرید