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Información Legal: Vermont

Restraining Orders

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12 de diciembre de 2023

What happens if the abuser violates the order?

You can call the police even if you think it is a minor violation. Intentionally violating a sexual assault or stalking protective order can be put in jail for up to one year, fined up to $5,000, or both. The penalties increase can increase to up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines (or both) if s/he has a prior conviction for violating a sexual assault or stalking protective order, a relief from abuse order, or an order preventing contact with a child or if s/he a prior conviction for domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault.1

Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it may help you have the order extended or modified in the future. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case.

You also have the option for filing for contempt in the court where your order was issued.

1 VT ST 13 § 1030(a),(b)

Can the order be changed or extended?

When your order expires, you can file a motion with the court to extend your order. The judge can extend it for such additional time as the judge believes is necessary to protect you and/or your children. There does not have to be another incident of stalking or sexual assault during the time you had the order to extend it.1

To change an order, you or the abuser can file a motion to modify (change) the order if there has been a substantial change in circumstance. The judge can change the order at any time.1

1 VT ST 12 § 5133(e)

What can I do if the abuser keeps filing court proceedings against me?

Abusers often misuse court proceedings in order to continue the abuse. This is called abusive litigation. If you are the victim of abusive litigation by someone who the court has already determined committed abuse, stalking, or sexual assault against you, you can ask the judge to issue an order restricting abusive litigation. See our Litigation Abuse section for more information on how to do this.

At what point in the court process can I request an order to restrict abusive litigation?

You may request an order restricting abusive litigation at any point, including:

  • in any answer or response to a new case the abuser has filed;
  • by making a motion at any time in an existing case;
  • in an answer or response to a motion the abuser has filed; or
  • orally at a hearing in front of a judge.1

1 VT ST 15 § 1182(a)

What happens if the judge issues an order restricting abusive litigation?

If the judge grants your request for an order restricting abusive litigation, the abuser’s current case will be dismissed or denied. The judge may also award you attorney’s fees and the costs of responding to the abusive litigation.1

Afterwards, the abuser will be required to submit any future cases to the court for review before anything can be served on you.2 The judge would then either issue an order that allows the case to go forward or prohibits the case from continuing. If the abuser serves any new case or petition on you without attaching a copy of the order allowing that case to be filed, you may respond simply by filing a copy of the judge’s order restricting abusive litigation.3

1 VT ST 15 § 1184
2 VT ST 15 § 1185(b)
3 VT ST 15 § 1185(g)

Si me dan una orden de protección, ¿aparecerá en una búsqueda en el internet?

De acuerdo a la ley federal, que aplica a todos los estados, territorios y tierras tribales, se supone que las cortes no publiquen información que podría revelar su identidad y localización en el internet. Esto aplica a:

  • la petición que presenta;
  • la orden de protección, orden de restricción o interdicto que le dio la corte; o,
  • que se registró la orden en otro estado. 1

1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)