Legal Information: Missouri

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
September 25, 2021

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

Renewing an order
Your full order of protection can include a term that allows it to automatically renew annually unless the abuser files an objection and 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 three 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 each time the order is set to expire. After holding a hearing, the judge can renew it for a period of time determined by the judge. If the judge determined in the original order of protection hearing that the abuser posed a serious risk to your or your child’s physical or mental health, the judge can renew the order for a minimum of two years and can even make it valid throughout the life of the abuser. There does not have to be a new incident of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to renew your order. 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

However, if the judge determined in the original order of protection hearing that the abuser posed a serious risk to your or your child’s physical or mental health, the judge will not modify the order unless both of the following are true:

  1. the order has already been in effect for at least two years; and
  2. in a hearing:
    • the abuser shows proof of treatment and rehabilitation; and
    • the judge determines that the abuser no longer poses a serious danger to you or your child.4

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).5

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

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