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Legal Information: Virginia

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 4, 2020

How do I change or extend the permanent 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. The court may be less willing to offer you its protection in the future if you have an order dismissed (canceled).

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. If you were a member of the respondent’s family or household at the time the initial protective order was issued, the court may extend your protective order for a period of up to two years to protect the health and safety of the you or your current family or household member(s). You can file to extend your order more than once.1

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 tell the judge why the change, extension, or dismissal (cancellation) is necessary.

1 Va. Code § 16.1-279.1(B)