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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: Virginia

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 4, 2020

Step 3: Service of process

The court will send a copy of your preliminary protective order (if the judge granted you one) and a notice of hearing to the sheriff or police so that they can serve the abuser with these papers. The abuser must be served with the notice of hearing before the hearing can take place. If the sheriff cannot find the abuser to serve him/her with this notice, then the judge may wish to postpone the hearing. Be sure to have your preliminary order extended, if this is the case.

You may wish to stay in touch with the sheriff or police to see if they received your paperwork from the court, and to see if the abuser has been served or not.

You can find more information about service of process in our Preparing for Court – By Yourself section, in the question called What is service of process and how do I accomplish it?