How Long Does A Protection Order Last?

The initial temporary protective order expires at the date and time that the hearing is set. For example, if the hearing is set in 15 days at a certain date and time, that is when it expires. The court can extend the temporary protective order under a number of circumstances. For example, one reason may be that the respondent hasn’t been properly served. Another example may be if the parties are attempting to reach a settlement and now don’t want a permanent protective order, but the petitioner is unable to give up the temporary protective order. It is possible they can stipulate to extending the protective order and setting a new hearing date while they’re trying to work things out.

Once a permanent protective order is entered it is indefinite unless it is dismissed by a court. Subsection 113 refers to the dismissal of a protective order and gives various methods by which that can be done. One way is if the protective order has been in effect for at least two years and the court determines the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear of future abuse, the court can dismiss the order. Additionally after the order of protection has been in place for several years, the respondent can request a hearing to demonstrate that the protective order is no longer needed and the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear. The court also can amend or dismiss a protective order that has been in effect for at least one year if it finds that the reason for the issuance of the protective order no longer exists, or if the petitioner has repeatedly acted in contravention to the protective order.

For example, a protective order restrains the respondent from contacting the petitioner, but it does not restrain the petitioner from contacting a respondent. If the petitioner is repeatedly contacting the respondent after the order is issued or is knowingly is trying to induce the respondent to communicate so that he commits a violation, the court may dismiss the order. Another example may be where the petitioner’s actions demonstrate that the petitioner no longer has a reasonable fear. All of this, of course, presupposes that there have been no protective order violations.

If there have been any violations, the court cannot dismiss the protective order. If there is a divorce pending then when the divorce decree enters, the court has the discretion to dismiss the protective order at the same time. Additionally a protective order will expire automatically 10 years from the date of the entry of a divorce decree, or 10 years from the date of the entry of the protective order.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children