WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Tennessee

Restraining Orders

View all
Updated: 
October 6, 2020

How do I change or extend the protection order?

You (or the abuser) can file a motion in court at any time to modify the order as long as you can show that there has been a change in circumstances that makes the modification necessary.1 To modify your order, you can go back to the court where you got it and file a petition with the clerk.

You can file in court to extend/continue your protection order for one year by filing a motion to extend before your order expires. After filing the motion, you will be given a new court date, usually within 14 days. The abuser will be served with your motion by mail. If you file your motion to extend before your order expires but your hearing is not scheduled until after your order’s expiration date, then your order will be extended until your hearing. After filing for the order to be extended, the process is very similar to getting your first protection order. You will need to explain to the judge why you need continued protection and if you show that there is “cause” to do so, the judge can continue the order for another one-year period. This process can be repeated to ask for additional one-year extensions of the order.2

Note: If the abuser has violated the order, you can request that the extension last longer than one year. The court may extend the order of protection for up to 5 years for one violation. If the respondent is found to have violated the order more than once, the court may extend the order of protection for up to 10 years.3

1 TN ST § 36-3-608(b)
2 TN ST § 36-3-605(b)
3 TN ST § 36-3-605(d)