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Legal Information: South Carolina

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 8, 2020

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

In South Carolina, there are temporary orders of protection and final orders of protection.

Temporary orders of protection are issued when a judge believes you you are in immediate danger of abuse. A judge will hold a court hearing before you can get a temporary order, but the abuser will not be present at this hearing. The judge will hold the hearing within 24 hours of you filing your petition. The temporary order is generally in effect for 15 days after service of the order at which point a full court hearing will be held for a final order of protection.1 However, the judge may extend the temporary order if your full court hearing is postponed.

Final orders of protection are issued only after a full court hearing, where both you and the abuser have a chance to be present and present both your sides of the story. Final orders of protection last for between six months and one year.2 You may ask to have it extended. See How do I extend, change, or cancel my order of protection? for more information.

There is a different type of order for victims of stalking or harassment. For more information, see our Restraining Orders Against Stalking or Harassment page.

1 See Petition for Order of Protection
2 S.C. Code § 20-4-70(a)