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Legal Information: Mississippi

Restraining Orders

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January 27, 2020

What types of protective orders are there? How long do they last?

A protective order is a court order that is designed to stop your abuser from hurting you and your family. There are 2 types of protective orders.

A temporary order is designed to offer you immediate, emergency protection from the abuser. Temporary orders are granted only if you can prove to the judge through your testimony or petition/affidavit that you need one to prevent immediate harm to you or your family. A judge will assume that if you are asking for a temporary order you will also want a permanent order.

A temporary order generally lasts until the court hearing that you must have in order to receive a permanent order. This usually takes place within 10 days after the abuser has been presented, or served, with the temporary order. If you and the abuser have minor children together, a temporary order can only last up to 30 days, maximum. However, you both do not have minor children in common, a temporary protective order can be longer than 30 days, up to a maximum of 1 year.1

A final order can be issued only after a court hearing in which you and the abuser both have a chance to tell your sides of the story. It offers longer-term legal protection than the temporary order. A final order can last up until such time that the judge believes is appropriate. The expiration date will be clearly written on the order.2

However, if you are given temporary custody, visitation or child support in a final domestic abuse protection order, those terms are only effective for 180 days. For a longer lasting order adderssing those issues, you would have to file separate petitions for custody, visitation or support. If at the end of the one-hundred-eighty-day period, neither party has filed a separate petition regarding those issues, the custody, visitation or support terms will go back to whatever order was in effect regarding those topics when the domestic abuse protection order was granted.3

1 MS Code § 93-21-15(1)(b)
2 MS Code § 93-21-15(2)(b)
3 MS Code § 93-21-15(2)(c)