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Legal Information: Wisconsin

Restraining Orders

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Laws current as of December 14, 2023

Can a final domestic abuse injunction be changed or extended?

To make changes to your order or to extend it, you can go back to the court where you got the order and file a petition with the clerk.

A judge can extend the order based on your statement that the extension is necessary to protect you. The order can only be extended for a period of time to equal four years from date that the judge first entered the original injunction.1 So, for example, if your initial order lasted three years, the extension can last for one year, totaling four years. The judge can extend the order in this way without giving prior notice to the respondent.2

However, there is a possibility that the injunction can be extended for a period of time from the initial order that equals ten years if you can prove there is a substantial risk that the respondent may commit any of these crimes against you: first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree intentional homicide, sexual assault or sexual assault of a child (sections (1) or (2)).3 If the respondent has been convicted of committing sexual assault in the first, second, or third degree against you, you may request that the injunction be made permanent.4

You can request that a judge change (modify) your injunction, but the judge cannot change it based only on the abuser’s request.5 One exception to this rule is if you have a permanent injunction based on the abuser’s conviction for sexually assaulting but that criminal conviction is later vacated. The judge is required to change or remove (vacate) your injunction if the abuser proves that the conviction was vacated, and the judge will consider all relevant factors when deciding what to do. If your order has been in effect for longer than the maximum amount of time it could have been granted without the sexual assault conviction, the judge will vacate it.6  

1 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(c)(2)
2 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(c)(4)
3 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(d)(1)
4 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(d)(1m)
5 Wis. Stat. § 813.12(4)(b)
6 Wis. Stat. § 813.126(1m)