What are Protective Orders?

Protective Orders are legal documents issued by a judge or a magistrate with the intent to protect the health and safety of someone who has been injured or threatened by another person. In Virginia, there are three kinds of protective orders that are intended to protect you and others:

  • Emergency Protective Order - generally last only 72 hours and are usually issued by a magistrate but may be issued by a judge.
  • Preliminary Protective Order - is temporary protection which lasts 15 days or until a full hearing and requires that you file a petition with the court. Preliminary Protective Orders may be extended up to 6 months.
  • Permanent Protective Order - a full protective order can be issued for up to two years where both parties have notice and the opportunity to be heard.

Under 18

If you are under 18 years of age, this filing information does not apply to you. Go to Virginia’s Judicial System website for assistance with Protective Orders. You can also call the Juvenile Domestic and Relations Court at 434-979-7165 with questions.

Immediate Danger

 If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If this is a non-emergency question please call the Police Department at 434-970-3280 or the Magistrate’s Office at 434-977-0220.

Show All Answers

1. What are Protective Orders?
2. Where is the Magistrate’s Office located and how do I contact them?
3. Where is the court located?
4. Is there anyone else I can talk to if I have questions or I am in fear of the person committing these acts?
5. What should I bring to court with me?
6. What should I not bring to court with me?
7. Who should I bring with me to court?
8. What should I do if I feel I am in immediate danger?
9. What should I do if I do not understand or speak English?
10. What if I have a physical disability?
11. Where can I park?
12. What are the related Virginia Code sections?
13. What do I do after obtaining an Emergency Protective Order?
14. What should I do with the order?