How do I change or extend the final protective order?
Only a judge can modify a protective order. If you or the abuser wish to change the terms of the order, a motion to modify can be filed. If you wish to cancel the order, a motion to dismiss can be filed.* However, there may be a chance that if you have an order dismissed (canceled), that may possibly be considered if you re-file for another order in the future.
If you want to extend the order, you can file a motion to extend. This must be filed before your protective order expires. Proceedings to extend a protective order are supposed to be given high priority by the court. The judge can extend your protective order for a period of up to two years to protect the health and safety of you or your current family or household member(s). You can file to extend your order more than once.**
For any of the above motions that are filed, the court will set a date for a hearing and the abuser will be served with a copy of the motion and a request to be present. You must attend this hearing and present evidence to convince the judge why the change, extension, or dissolution (cancellation) is necessary.
* Va. Code § 19.2-152.10(G)
** Va. Code § 19.2-152.10(B)