Protective Order Assistance
A protective order is a legal document issued by a magistrate or a judge to help you protect yourself, your children, and/or other family or household members from someone who is hurting your or causing you fear.
Protective orders are designed to protect against future violence, force, or threats.
A protective order is a tool, used in a legal sense, to prevent acts of violence, force, or threat. It is not a shield or a guarantee of safety. If you are in danger call 911 immediately.
Qualifying for a Protective Order
To qualify for a protective order, you must have been, within a reasonable period of time, subjected to an act of force or a threat of violence that places you in reasonable fear for your own, or your children’s, safety and well being.
Petition for a Protective Order
The type of relationship that you have (or had) with the person who is threatening or harming you determines where you need to petition for a protective order:
Family Abuse Protective Order
If that person is a family or household member you can request a family abuse protective order through the intake office for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. You would also petition for a protective order in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court if either the petitioner or the respondent is under the age of 18.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Protective Order
Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
7000 Lucy Corr Blvd
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Protective orders with criminal charges
Protective orders with no criminal charges
Domestic & Sexual Violence Resource Center (DSVRC): 804-318-8264
All Other Protective Orders
All other requests for protective orders that do not meet the definition of a family or household member are made through the General District Court Clerk’s Office.
Non-Familial Protective Orders
Chesterfield General District Court
9500 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Victim / Witness: 804-796-7087
Petitions can be requested without an attorney and there is no required fee.
Per Virginia Code section §18.2-308.1:4, a person subject to a permanent family abuse protective order cannot possess or transport a firearm for 24-hours from the time the order is served.
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
An EPO is generally issued automatically if an arrest for assault and battery has been made. An EPO lasts up to 72 hours and is issued by a magistrate or by a judge. If court is not in session at the time of expiration, it will expire at 5 PM on the next business day that court is in session.
Preliminary Protective Order (PPO)
A preliminary protective order can be obtained if a recent act of family abuse has occurred or in cases of immediate and present danger. A preliminary protective order is temporary protection that lasts up to 15 days or until a full hearing and is only issued by a judge. PPO’s may be extended for up to six months for service on the respondent.
Petitions can be filed by the petitioner either through the Juvenile Domestic Relations Court Intake Office or through the General District Court Clerk’s Office, depending on the relationship between the parties. Protection begins once the respondent is personally served with the order.
You do not have to have been issued an EPO to get a PPO and the respondent does not have to be at the hearing.
Permanent Protective Order (PO)
A full protective order that can last for up to two years and is issued by the court after the final protective order hearing where both parties are before the judge. The judge must decide that the petitioner has met the burden of proving the threat of force and/or violence.