A restraining order is also known as the protective order in Virginia. The restraining order is an order issued by the court to stop someone from doing harmful acts. Restraining orders are usually sought in family courts.

You can get restraining orders if you have been abused by any of the family members you are living with.

Family household members include:

  • Current spouse, you are living with,
  • Parent or stepparent
  • Brother or sister
  • Half-brother or half-sister
  • In-Laws include: mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law
  • Any individual who cohabits with you. Cohabit is the term used for someone with whom you have intimate and sexual relations and you are living with him/her.

Specific court for restraining orders on any family member when living in Virginia

There are different courts for different issues in each district. Each judicial district has its own filing procedure. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court is the court where you can file for restraining orders on someone you are living with. The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court hear cases for juvenile or family members.

Steps to get a restraining order on someone you live with, in Virginia

File a petition in the court

You will have to go to the clerk and tell him to give you an application form for a restraining order. You can also get the form online and complete it online and take it with you when you go to the court. If you are in emergency danger then just go to the nearest police office directly. You will be given an emergency protective order valid for 72 hours or the next court hearing session, which one is later. You must also keep your personal identification card like driving license or passport or identity card with you. If you are able to bring identification of your abuser like a photo, address, phone number, place of job etc. It will also be helpful.

After you have filled the forms provided by the court’s clerk, you are the petitioner and your abuser is the respondent.

Reviewing of your petition by the judge

The court clerk will send your application form to the judge. The judge will analyze your petition. The judge may call you to ask related questions and then he will decide you can get preliminary orders or not.

The court will also send the preliminary order copy to the police to deal with the abuser if needed.

If you want permanent restraining orders then the judge will give you a date of hearing.

Hearing process

The hearing takes place within 15 days from the time of your submission of the petition. You must be available for the hearing session. The abuser will also be called for the hearing session. If the abuser does not come, the judge will either continue the hearing or may give a new date of hearing.

You must hire a lawyer for the hearings. Your abuser will also show up with the lawyer.

If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney, call us at 888-437-7747.