In Virginia, a Domestic Protective Order is a Court Order that usually prohibits one person from having contact with another (usually a spouse or significant other). The Courts are authorized by statute to issue emergency protective orders, preliminary (i.e. temporary) protective orders and full protective orders (these are often obtained in stages). If you are seeking a protective order or have just been served with one that was filed against you, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Richmond Protective Order Attorneys
The family law attorneys at BoykoNapier, are experienced at handling protective orders and will help guide you through the difficult process.
In Virginia, a Juvenile Court Judge has the authority to grant a domestic protective order if:
- The petitioner has been subject to “family abuse” committed by a household member
- The petitioner continues to be in fear, and
- A protective order is necessary to prevent further family abuse.
Whether “family abuse” occurred is the threshold issue in all protective order hearings, and is often controversial. Perception can often become a very significant issue in these hearings, hence the importance of having an attorney on your side.
Protective Orders can have very significant impacts on all involved parties and it is important to know the differences in the types of protective orders:
Emergency Protective Orders
“EPOs” are authorized by Va. Code Section 16.1-253.4. These orders are granted “ex parte” (by the Judge or Magistrate, without the other party present–i.e. without a formal hearing) typically based on an affidavit under oath of the petitioner or a law-enforcement officer that family abuse has occurred. If granted, an EPO can have the following conditions:
- That the Respondent have no contact with certain family or household members, including the Petitioner
- That the Respondent commit no further acts of family abuse
- That the Respondent stay away from the residence occupied by the parties
Subject to limited exception, an EPO lasts only approximately 72 hours, as it expires at 11:59 pm on the third day after it was issued. Accordingly, to extend the time, many Petitioners will file for a temporary/preliminary protective order.
Preliminary Protective Orders
Also known as Temporary Protective Orders, “PPOs” are authorized by Va. Code Section 16.1-253.1. These orders are entered ex parte or after a hearing and, if entered, the statute requires that a hearing on a full protective order must generally be held within 15 days. In addition to the conditions of an EPO, a PPO can require:
- That the Respondent not terminate utilities at the residence occupied by the parties (or restore utilities if they were already cut off)
- That the Petitioner have temporary use and possession of a vehicle used by the parties
- That the Respondent provide suitable housing for the Petitioner and other family/household members, including the payment of a necessary deposits for connection/restoration of utilities when appropriate.
Full Domestic Protective Orders
Full POs can be in place for up to two years and are authorized by Va. Code Section 16.1-279.1. These orders are entered after a hearing and, in addition to the aforementioned conditions, may also require:
- That the Respondent enter into treatment or counseling if the Court deems that appropriate or necessary
- That a temporary child custody and visitation order be entered, if appropriate
- That the Respondent pay temporary child support, if appropriate
- That costs and attorney’s fees be assessed against either party
If a Juvenile Court Judge has issued a protective order against you, you should talk to an attorney immediately about your rights, including the rights to appeal and/or modify the order. The Virginia family law attorneys at BoykoNapier are here to help, call us at (804) 658-3418 or contact us via email.
Also, for additional information, read our blog post about the power of protective orders: Domestic Protective Orders in Virginia: Powerful and Prevalent.