The Final Protective Order

The Final Protective Order 



Within 7 days after the Temporary Order is issued, a Final Protective Order hearing is held before a Judge.

You Must Be Present

The victim must attend this hearing; the alleged abuser will usually be at this hearing and may bring a lawyer. You may also bring a lawyer.

Order May Issue If Abuser Fails To Appear

Even if the alleged abuserfails to appear at the hearing, the court may issue a Final Protective Order based on the evidence presented by the Petitioner, as long as the Respondent was served with the Temporary Protective Order or the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent. 


Testimony Will Be Taken

At the Final Protective Order hearing, the alleged abuser is given an opportunity to contest the allegations of abuse and to be heard on the issue of whether a Final Protective Order should be granted to the Petitioner. 

"Clear and Convincing Evidence"

The judge will grant a Final Protective Order if the abuser consents to the Order, or if the judge finds by “clear and convincing evidence" that abuse has occurred. You must present better evidence than when you got the Temporary Protective Order. Be sure to bring any evidence you have, such as witnesses, photographs, medical and police reports, objects used to injure you, etc.

Order Takes Effect Immediately

If the court grants a Final Protective Order, the Order takes effect immediately.

Maximum-One Year

The maximum time a Final Protective Order may stay in effect is one year  

Request Extension?

For good cause shown, the court that issued a Final Protective Order may extend the Order for an additional six months beyond the period specified, after (1) giving notice to all affected persons eligible for relief; and (2) a hearing.


A protective Order can be modified during the time it is in effect, or it can even be rescinded, after notice to both parties and a hearing.


A de novo (“new”, “done again”) appeal can be taken if the initial hearing was held in a District Court. The appeal is held in the Circuit Court. The District Court

Protective Order remains in effect pending the outcome of an appeal. “De Novo” means that the case is tried a second time. Testimony is taken, and a Circuit Court Judge will make a decision.

What Can The Order Do? 

Prohibit Contact

Order the alleged abuser to “stay away” or to have “no contact” with the abused, to cease all abuse, to stay away from the abused’s work, school, home (The definition of residence includes yard, grounds, outbuildings and common areas surrounding the residence) or day care provider.

Surrender Firearms

The Protective Order can also require the surrender of firearms.


Establish a custody and visitation arrangement for a minor child during the term of the Order.

Child Support

Provide for child support.

Family Maintenance

Award emergency family maintenance and award the temporary use and possession of the marital residence or family vehicle.


Direct the abuser to participate in a domestic violence program, anger management, or counseling.

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