Can I Appeal a Protective Order in Virginia?

Author : Lucy Parker | Published On : 26 Oct 2023

Protective orders, also known as restraining orders, are legal measures designed to protect individuals from domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or other threatening behaviors. In Virginia, like in many other states, obtaining a protective order can be a crucial step towards ensuring one’s safety and well-being. However, what happens when you believe that a protective order has been wrongly issued against you? Can you appeal it? This article delves into the process of appeal protective order Virginia.

Understanding Protective Orders in Virginia Before discussing the appeal process, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of protective orders in Virginia. These orders are issued by a court and typically prohibit the individual named in the order from engaging in certain actions or contacting the person who requested the order. Virginia offers several types of protective orders:

Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs): These orders are usually issued by a magistrate, a police officer, or a judge in cases of immediate danger. They are temporary and can last up to 72 hours.

Preliminary Protective Orders (PPOs): PPOs are issued by a judge and can last up to 15 days. They are often a prelude to a more permanent order.

Permanent Protective Orders (POs): These are issued after a full hearing and can last up to two years, with the possibility of extension.

The Appeal Process

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a protective order in Virginia and believe it was wrongly issued, you have the right to appeal the order. Here are the key steps involved in the appeal process:

  1. Consult with an Attorney: Before initiating an appeal, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in family law or protective orders. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process, understand your rights, and build a compelling case.

  2. File a Notice of Appeal: The first formal step in appeal protective order Virginia is to file a Notice of Appeal with the appropriate court. This notice must be filed within 10 days of the issuance of the protective order. Failure to meet this deadline can severely limit your ability to appeal.

  3. Prepare Your Case: Work closely with your attorney to build a strong case. You will need to demonstrate to the court that the protective order was wrongly issued, and your appeal should be granted. This may involve presenting evidence, witnesses, and legal arguments.

  4. Attend the Appeal Hearing: Once your appeal is filed, the court will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, both parties, the one seeking the protective order and the one appealing it, will have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence.

  5. . Court Decision: The court will carefully consider the information presented during the appeal hearing. It may uphold the original protective order, modify it, or dismiss it entirely based on the evidence and legal arguments presented by both parties.

  6. Comply with the Existing Order: Until the appeal is decided, you must comply with the existing protective order. Violating the order can result in serious legal consequences.


The ability to appeal protective order Virginia provides a necessary safeguard for individuals who believe they have been unjustly subjected to such orders. However, the appeal process can be legally intricate, making it imperative to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney. Consulting with an attorney early in the process and building a robust case are crucial steps towards a successful appeal. Ultimately, the appeal process allows for a fair and just resolution for all parties involved.