If You Were Served with a Domestic Violence Protection Order

If you were served with a domestic violence restraining order, visit this section to find out your options and what happens next.

What the TPO Means

The TPO stays in place for up to 45 days.  You have to obey all of the terms of the TPO unless they are changed or cancelled by the judge at a future hearing.  Make sure you understand and follow all of the terms.  If you do not, you could be arrested and taken to jail.  

The Order means you cannot threate, harass, or injure the applicant, either on your own or through someone else acting on your behalf.

The Order usually says you cannot have any contact with the other person at all.  If so, you cannot contact them by phone, text, email, in person, or any othe rway.  You cannot have someone else contact the person on your behalf.  If you have children together, the order might say you cannot contact the children (at least for now).  

There are many other things the TPO might say you should or should not do.  Read through the order and make sure you understand it.  

  • There may be addresses that you have to stay away from.  Stay away from those places.
  • If you have children together, the court may have ordered the child to stay with the applicant, at least for now.  This is only temporary.
  • If you and the applicant live together, you may have to move out.  Find a new place to stay.  
  • You might be able to go get your personal belongings if they are at the applicant's home.  If you are entitled to get your things, call law enforcement to go with you.  The applicant might be allowed to do the same if you have some of their things.

 

What Happens Next

The TPO is valid for up to 45 days.  Check the expiration date on the first page of the TPO to find out how long it stays in effect.

The applicant might have asked for a longer protection order.  If so, there will be a hearing for the judge to decide whether to extend the order longer and whether to add or change any of the terms.  The hearing date is listed in your papers.  Plan to go to the hearing.  

Keep following all of the terms of the TPO until the hearing or the expiration date (whichever is later).

Your Rights

You can file paperwork asking the judge to change or cancel the terms of the TPO.  The forms and instructions are below:

Motion to Modify/Dissolve TPO

There is no fee to file this.  When you file it, the court will set a hearing for you and the other person to see the judge usually in about a week.

Keep following all of the terms of the TPO until the hearing.  If the judge changes or cancels any of the orders, the changes won't apply until AFTER your hearing.