When Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are first issued after a hearing, they typically have an expiration date, ranging from one year to five years. At the end of the expiration date, the Restraining Order is no longer in effect. However, you can petition the court to renew the restraining order within three months of the expiration date. The court will try to set a hearing before the order expires, and they will either let the restraining order expire, renew it for five more years, or make it a permanent order. At this stage, the court is looking to see if you are in reasonable apprehension of future abuse. This means, you have to show that you are reasonably still afraid that your abuser will continue to abuse you. The court will consider the level of abuse that was found for the initial restraining order to determine if your fear is reasonable and will also look to any violations of the restraining order and the evolving behavior of both parties. If you have a restraining order, you might want to double-check when it expires, and consider applying for a renewal within three months of the expiration date.
Maria E. Crabtree, Esq.