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Legal Information: Vermont

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
December 13, 2019

How do I get an extreme risk protection order?

Only a State’s Attorney or the Office of the Attorney General can file for an extreme risk protection order.1 If you are concerned about the respondent’s safety, you may be able to let the State’s Attorney or the Office of the Attorney General know. You may want to provide them with any information you have that supports your belief that the respondent is a risk to himself/herself or others and ask them to file a petition for an order.

1 13 Vt. Stat. § 4053(a)

How will the judge make a decision?

A judge will issue a final order if there is clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses an extreme risk of harming himself/herself or others by accessing a dangerous weapon.1

The petitioner can show that the respondent is at risk of harming others by showing the judge that:

  • the respondent committed or tried to commit bodily harm on another person;
  • the respondent’s threats or actions have placed others in reasonable fear of physical harm;
  • the respondent’s actions or failure to act presented a danger to someone in the respondent’s care.2

The petitioner can show that the respondent is a risk to himself/herself by showing that the respondent:

  • threatened suicide or serious bodily harm; or
  • attempted suicide or serious bodily harm.3

1 13 Vt. Stat. § 4053(e)(1)
2 13 Vt. Stat. § 4054(b)(2)(A)
3 13 Vt. Stat. § 4054(b)(2)(B)

Can an extreme risk protection order be renewed?

If the judge decides that the respondent still poses an extreme risk of harm to himself/herself or others by possessing a dangerous weapon, the judge can renew the extreme risk protection order for another six months. The State’s Attorney or the Office of the Attorney General may request a renewal 14-30 days before the current order expires.1

1 13 Vt. Stat. § 4055(b)

What if the respondent violates the order?

If the respondent intentionally fails to follow the terms of the extreme risk protection order, s/he may be committing a crime. If the respondent is convicted of violating the order, the judge could sentence the respondent to go to prison for up to one year, pay a fine of up to $1,000, or both.1

1 13 Vt. Stat. § 4058(b)(1)