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Legal Information: Missouri

Restraining Orders

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December 11, 2020

How do I extend, change or dismiss an order of protection?

Extending an order
Your full order of protection can include a term that allows it to automatically renew unless the abuser files an objection/requests a hearing within thirty days before the expiration of the order. If the abuser does file an objection/request a hearing, you are supposed to be personally served with these papers at least 3 days before the hearing date.1

If your order does not allow for an automatic renewal, you can file a motion to renew your order. After holding a hearing, the judge can renew it for between 180 days and 1 year. There does not have to be a new incident of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to renew your order.2 In order to avoid any lapse in your protection, it is usually a good idea to file for your extension at least two weeks before your first order of protection expires. In the event that your first full order expires before you are able to schedule a hearing on extending it, the court may grant you an ex parte order to protect you until your next hearing.2

Changing an order
To modify (change) an order, either party can file a motion (legal papers) to modify the order. You would have to include an affidavit (sworn statement) that explains that there has been a change in circumstances that calls for the modification you are requesting. The judge would hold a hearing to decide whether or not to grant the modification.3

Dismissing an order
If you want to dismiss/terminate your order, you can file a motion to dismiss. The judge has the option to hold a hearing where s/he can question you or others to to decide whether or not to you are voluntarily asking to dismiss it (i.e., that you are not being pressured into it by the abuser).4

1 MO ST § 455.040(4)
2 MO ST § 455.040(1)
3 MO ST § 455.060(1)
4 MO ST § 455.060(5)