How to Vacate a Restraining Order

By Renee Booker
paperwork image by Pix by Marti from

Restraining orders, sometimes referred to as protective orders or no contact orders, can be the result of a criminal or civil case. In a criminal case, the order may be issued in an attempt to protect the alleged victim or witnesses while the case is pending. In a civil case, the order may be issued as a result of testimony by the protected person that she has been abused, threatened or harassed. If you believe that the restraining order is not necessary, then you may petition the issuing court to vacate the order.

Read through the order thoroughly and determine on what basis the court issued the order. Make sure that the reason the court stated for issuing the order no longer exists.

Prepare a motion to vacate the restraining order. Caption the motion as the order was captioned with the court's name, the parties' names and the cause number at the top. In the body of the motion, indicate when the order was issued and on what basis. Tell the court why you believe that the order is no longer necessary and ask that the restraining order be vacated.

Indicate in the motion--if you are the original petitioner--that you are no longer afraid of, or no longer feel threatened by, the respondent. If you are the respondent and you think that the petitioner no longer wishes to have the restraining order in place then indicate that in the petition. Sign the motion.

Prepare an order for the court giving them the option to grant the motion or set a court date for a hearing on the motion. Make copies of the motion and order.

File the motion and order with the court and send a copy of both to the petitioner and the prosecuting attorney if they are involved.