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Legal Information: South Carolina

Restraining Orders

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December 8, 2020

What types of restraining orders against stalking or harassment are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of orders: the emergency temporary order and the final extended order.

Within twenty-four hours after you file for the restraining order, the judge can hold an emergency hearing. If at that hearing, the judge believes your allegations, the judge can issue a temporary ex parte restraining order without first informing the defendant, which usually lasts for around 15 days. Then this temporary restraining order would be served upon the defendant along with what is called a “Rule to Show Cause.” The Rule to Show Cause must provide the date and time of the hearing where the defendant would have to appear to convince the judge that a final order should not be granted. The final order would last for at least one year. The judge will decide the exact length of the order on a case-by-case basis.1

If the judge does not give you the temporary order, the judge can still set a date for a hearing to decide if you will get the final order. This hearing will generally take place within fifteen days of the date that you file for the order.2

1 S.C. Code §§ 16-3-1760(A), (B), (D); 16-3-1750(E)
2 S.C. Code § 16-3-1760(C), (D)