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Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 5, 2020

Can I extend or renew my protective order? What if the order already expired?

Automatic extension
If the abuser is in jail or prison when the order is set to expire or if s/he was released from jail/prison within the one year before the order’s expiration date, the order will automatically be extended. If the abuser was sentenced to more than 5 years of incarceration, the order will expire on the first anniversary of the date s/he is released from imprisonment. If the abuser was sentenced to 5 years or less of incarceration, the order will expire on the second anniversary of the date s/he is released from imprisonment.1 You can request a new order from the court showing the extended expiration date to make it easier to enforce in case of a violation.

Filing to renew a current order or an expired order
If the abuser violates the order while the order is still valid, this violation could be a reason to renew the order. You can file for the renewed protective order within the last 30 days of the order (within 30 days before the order’s expiration date). You will have to include with your application:

  • a copy of the current protective order (or if a copy is not available, you will have to file a copy before the hearing date) and
  • a description of what the abuser did to make you reasonably fear immediate physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.2

If your current order has already expired, you can file for a new protective order if:

  • s/he violated the order before it expired and you didn’t already get a new family violence protective order based on that violation; or
  • the abuser has done something new to reasonably place you in fear of immediate physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.3

You will need to attach a copy of the expired protective order to your new application (or if you don’t have a copy available, you will have to file it before the hearing date) and you will have to go through all of the steps of originally filing for an order.

1 Tex. Fam. Code § 85.025(c)
2 Tex. Fam. Code § 82.0085
3 Tex. Fam. Code § 82.008