Renewing a DVPO

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We have previously discussed how to request a domestic violence protection order (DVPO). In this post, we will discuss renewing a domestic violence protection order.

A DVPO is always in place for a set length of time, whether that be one year, or one-hundred years. If there are children involved, DVPOs are typically initially granted for one year. Any time within three months of a DVPO’s expiration date, you can ask the court to renew the DVPO if you feel like it is still necessary to keep you and / or your children safe. In order to get this process started, you must file and have the respondent served with a document called a Petition for Renewal of Order for Protection. In this document, you will explain why you feel the DVPO should be renewed. Along with the petition, you will also schedule a hearing, just like you did when you initially petitioned for the DVPO. At the hearing, the respondent will also have the opportunity to argue why the protection order should not be renewed, and the court will make a decision.

A DVPO renewal hearing looks pretty different than a hearing to request the initial DVPO. When you originally requested your DVPO, it was your job (or, “burden”) to demonstrate that you were a victim of domestic violence, were scared of the respondent, and that a DVPO could help keep you safe. At a DVPO renewal hearing, it is no longer your job to demonstrate that you were a victim of domestic violence (because you already has). Instead, the burden shifts to the respondent, who must demonstrate that, more likely than not, he will not resume acts of domestic violence if the DVPO is not renewed.

The respondent usually makes a plethora of arguments to try and convince the court that he is no longer a threat. The most common arguments typically center around court-ordered treatment, and whether the respondent has violated the DVPO. 

Court Ordered Treatment

As we discussed in our “Petitioning for a DVPO” post, sometimes, a DVPO will order the respondent to do things like take domestic violence perpetrator treatment classes, parenting classes, engage in a drug or alcohol evaluation, etc. When a respondent fails to do what was ordered, the court will often determine that, because of this, the respondent cannot meet his burden, and thus, will renew the DVPO. So, if you believe that the respondent hasn’t finished (or started) his court-ordered treatment, or if you just doesn’t know, you should inform the court of this. 

Violations

Last week, we talked a bit about DVPO violations. This is something that the court at the renewal hearing will want to hear about. If the respondent has violated the DVPO, the court is unlikely to find that he is no longer a threat, and thus, is likely to renew the DVPO. If you believe the respondent has violated the DVPO, you should inform the court of this, and provide evidence, is possible. 

*When referring to perpetrators, we use he/him pronouns, and when referring to victims and survivors, we use she/her pronouns. This is solely for consistency and ease of reading. We recognize that both men and women can perpetrate or be victims of domestic violence, but the sad truth is that the majority of perpetrators are male, and the majority of victims are female.

*As the court does, we refer to the victim / survivor as the petitioner, and the abuser as the respondent.


This publication is for informational purposes only. It does not contain any legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for consulting an attorney. We always recommend that you consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.