Procedures Applicable to a Plaintiff in a Protection Case - If a Final Protection Order is Issued

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L. If a Final Protection Order is Issued. A final protection order may last up to two years if issued in a protection from abuse case, one year if issued in a protection from harassment case. Both the plaintiff and the defendant should read any final order carefully. Any protection order remains in effect until it expires, unless it is terminated or changed by the court before it expires. The only way a protection order can be changed is by a judge (or a family law magistrate in cases involving children). No one else, including the plaintiff, has authority to change the order or permit the defendant to violate the order. For example, if the defendant has been ordered not to go to the plaintiff's house, the defendant violates the order if he/she goes to the plaintiff's house, even if the plaintiff has invited him/her.

Remember: Only the court can change the order.

The order will state specifically what the defendant is prohibited from doing and what the defendant is required to do. If the defendant violates the order, the plaintiff should call the police and inform the police regarding the terms of the protection order. It is a crime for the defendant to violate certain portions of the protection order. The plaintiff should keep a copy of the order with him/her at all times.

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