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Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of November 28, 2023

Can the order be extended or modified?

A final PFA order lasts for up to two years.1 However, if the order is going to run out and you believe that you need protection, you can file for an extension of the order before the order expires. If you do not file the motion to extend before the old order runs out, you may have to start all over again by filing a new protection from abuse complaint. The judge will hold a hearing that the abuser can attend. In determining whether to extend the order, the judge could consider:

  • the underlying reasons for the original order, including earlier abuse and the history of abuse;
  • conduct that has occurred since the final protection order was issued;
  • the continued effect on you of the abuse; and
  • all other relevant factors.2

The judge can extend an order for as much time as s/he believes is necessary to protect you or your minor child from abuse. It is not limited to two years like the final PFA order is. A final protection order may be extended more than once.2

Either you or the abuser can file to change (modify) a final order. The judge would hold a hearing to decide if there is “sufficient cause” to do modify it. Judges can modify an order from time to time as circumstances may require.3

1 ME ST T. 19-A § 4110(5)(A)
2 ME ST T. 19-A § 4111(1)
3 ME ST T. 19-A § 4111(2)