Legal Information: Maine

Restraining Orders

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December 28, 2022

Can the order be changed, extended or canceled?

A PFA order will be issued for a fixed period or time, not to exceed 2 years.1  If the order is going to run out and you believe that you need protection, you can file for an extension of the order.  The clerk will set a time and date for your motion to be heard by the judge after the defendant has received notice of hearing.  A motion to extend can generally be filed 30 days before the order runs out.  If you do not file the motion to extend before the old order runs out, you will have to start all over again by filing a new protection from abuse complaint.   The judge can extend an order for such additional time as s/he believes is necessary to protect you or your minor child from abuse.1

Also, either side can file to modify a final order.  If there is sufficient cause to do so, the judge can modify an order from time to time as circumstances may require.1

Note: A defendant can file in court to ask that an ex parte order be modified or dismissed and you may get only 2 days’ notice of the hearing date (or shorter notice if the judge allows for it).  At that hearing, if the defendant challenges a finding in the ex parte order, you will have the burden of justifying that finding (determination).2

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1 ME ST T. 19-A § 4007(2)
2ME ST T. 19-A § 4006(7)

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